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Salesforce VP Melissa Di Donato reveals she wants to be next Tech City UK chair

Sam Shead | May 22, 2015
The American businesswoman is the first person to publicly throw her hat into the ring.

Melissa Di Donato, an American vice president at business software giant Salesforce, today told Techworld that she would love to be chair of Tech City UK.

The ambitious London-based businesswoman said her experience in Silicon Valley and her dedication to the UK tech startup scene makes her an ideal candidate for the role.

"I think I'd be great [for the role]" said Di Donato at the Salesforce Tour conference in London. "I think, for sure, I could help with Tech City, no question about it."

Di Donato's role at San Francisco-headquartered Salesforce involves persuading startups to build their company on the cloud platform.

"I've been at Salesforce for five years and we've had exponential growth on my team and we owe our success 100 percent to the grassroots work we've been doing with startups," said the vice president of Salesforce's ISV and Channel division across Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

"I spend my time turning ideas into profitable businesses across Europe," continued Di Donato. "I've brought on hundreds of companies. I know the secret sauce, I feel like I do. I know how to make it work and how to help these businesses grow."

Di Donato, who has also worked for IBM, Oracle and PwC, throws her hat into the ring just days after incumbent chair Joanna Shields announced she was stepping down from her unpaid role at Tech City UK to focus on being the UK minister for internet safety and security.

Tech City UK was set up by prime minister David Cameron in 2011 to support the UK technology scene and promote it around the world.

Di Donato sits on the corporate board of iDEA, the Duke of York's competition for young people with digital business ideas, and was part of the London Mayor's Business Programme.

She is one of a several highly successful women finding success in the UK tech sector, along with the likes of Nicola Mendelsohn, VP of Facebook EMEA, and Eileen Burbidge, partner at venture capital house Passion Capital and former head of product at Skype.

Di Donato featured on Management Today's Power Mums list last October. In her interview, she revealed that she works out at 5:30am six days a week and that she interviewed 40 nannies before making a hire.

She's also interested in animal welfare and promoting women and girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

Di Donato said she's confident she'd be able to do the role at Tech City UK alongside her existing positions.


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