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Tech Nation appoints new chair as Eileen Burbidge steps down

Former Sage CEO Stephen Kelly takes over the spot.

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Eileen Burbidge (centre)/AltFi.

Government-backed tech industry body Tech Nation has appointed a new chair, Stephen Kelly, who takes over from Eileen Burbidge after five years at the helm.

Kelly is best known for his previous roles as CEO of Sage Group and MicroFocus, and was also chief operating officer for the UK government for three years.

He’ll be joining existing board members including Tech Nation CEO Gerard Grech, David Richards, founder and CEO of WANdisco, and Sarah Wood, co-founder of Unruly.

A key figure he won’t be joining is now former chair Burbidge, who said the role had been “an absolute privilege”.

“Stephen’s experience both as a tech entrepreneur and scaling mentor will bring deep experience to the board, and I have no doubt that with his leadership alongside Gerard and the team, we will see tremendous impact from Tech Nation and sustained growth for the UK tech sector.”

Burbidge is a partner at Passion Capital, the VC which backed Monzo,Tide,Finimize and Nested from an early stage.

In his welcome note Kelly noted Burbidge’s role in helping Tech Nation “engage nearly 2000 businesses across the UK, generating up to £436 million in GVA for the UK economy. And in particular, I admire her work to back women founders and entrepreneurs – another area I intend to work hard to further improve.”

Tech Nation, formerly known as Tech City, was launched by David Cameron in 2011 with the aim of becoming a central hub for London’s bustling startup sector before later expanding its remit to the whole country.

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