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Business & Economy

Former Sage boss Stephen Kelly named Tech Nation chair

A former North East software firm boss has taken on a new role with a national organisation fuelling tech sector growth.

Stephen Kelly has been appointed chair at Tech Nation.

The former chief executive of Newcastle-based Sage Group succeeds Eileen Burbidge.

In his new role, Stephen will work closely with community representatives and tech entrepreneurs and support chief executive Gerard Grech to help expand Tech Nation’s network of growth programmes, events, data and knowledge resources.

Bosses say the organisation has already contributed up to £436 million to the economy through its activities with scale-ups and is on track to deliver £1 billion by 2025.

Speaking about his new role, Stephen said: “I am thrilled to be working with Gerard and the team in identifying and championing game-changing founders, leaders and scaling companies; fuelling their growth so they can positively transform society and create a stronger economy in the future.    

“I have been so lucky to lead some amazing digital tech companies.

“Tech is in my DNA, and I am hugely excited about applying the lessons I have learnt and my experience as a chief executive, investor, director and mentor to help the next generation of UK scale-ups.”

Praising Stephen’s “outstanding credentials”, Gerard also thanked Eileen for her “inspirational leadership”.

He said: “We thank Eileen for her passion, commitment and leadership; I have hugely appreciated her support and counsel.

“Building on that legacy, we warmly welcome Stephen, and the team and I look forward to working with him.

“His outstanding credentials and extensive experience both as a scaling entrepreneur and tech community champion of scale-ups, will help us deliver even more, with greater impact, especially at this crucial time during COVID-19 when companies need support and leadership more than ever.”