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Digital Catapult appoints three new Non-Executive Directors to its Board

Posted 4 May 2020

Professor Juergen Maier, Chair of Digital Catapult, is delighted to announce, following an extensive, openly advertised search campaign, the appointment to the Board of three new Non-Executive Directors. This is the first major refresh of Digital Catapult’s Board since the appointment of Juergen Maier in March 2019. The new Directors are Keith Underwood, Priya Guha, and William Priest. Together, they bring a wealth of valuable experience, knowledge and skills to the Board.

Keith Underwood brings over 20 years of experience in the media sector across strategy, digital, tech and finance. Most recently Chief Operating Officer at Channel 4, Keith is credited with leading the launch of streaming service All 4, transforming digital development capabilities, rebuilding and repositioning the finance function, and successfully delivering all operational workstreams of Channel 4’s relocation to Leeds, Bristol and Glasgow. Previously Chairman of Freeview, Keith has also been a Board Director of Digital UK, YouView and Parable. Keith is a member of the Royal Television Society and currently Chairs the Evening Events Committee. Keith has also chaired the International Broadcasting Conference; a prestigious event in the media industry attended by more than 50,000 people.

Priya Guha, Venture Partner at Merian Ventures and former British Consul General in San Francisco, is a supporter of high growth startups and corporate innovators, and champions workplace diversity and youth opportunities. Priya is a Member of the Innovate UK Council (part of UK Research and Innovation), sits on the Advisory Board of London Tech Week and Tech London Advocates, Chairs the Board of Trustees of Modern Muse, and was named 2019 Top 50 Most Influential Women in UK Tech and 2019 Top 5 Asian Investors in UK Tech.

William Priest has over 30 years of experience in central government, IT and telecoms roles including stints at Orange, IBM and Verizon. He currently sits on the Major Programmes and 5G Boards at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) within the UK government. William is also currently an Adviser to the Government Commercial Organisation within the Cabinet Office. Within government, William was Interim CEO of Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and was a member of the DCMS Executive board, chaired by the Permanent Secretary. A Chartered Civil and Water Engineer, William has worked on a number of international development projects for the World Bank and CDC Group, and he has invested in, and mentors, a number of tech startups.

Juergen Maier, Chair of Digital Catapult, said: “I am delighted to welcome a troika of new colleagues to the Board. We are really impressed by the level of expertise and experience that Keith, Priya and William bring to Digital Catapult. I can’t wait to begin working with them as we help the company achieve its purpose and increase its impact through the challenging conditions the UK faces now and in the near future. My sincerest thanks also to Laura Shesgren and Ian Baverstock who have been immensely valuable to the organisation since Digital Catapult’s earliest days for all their hard work and valuable contributions over the last six years.”

Jeremy Silver, CEO, Digital Catapult, added: “I’m super excited to welcome Keith, Priya and William to the Board of Digital Catapult. Between them they bring a cornucopia of expertise, experience and wisdom from the public sector, the media and the global investment community. They join us as we face an entirely new set of challenges to our economy. I look forward to their support and guidance as we figure out how best to accelerate the UK’s brightest startups through recovery, how we kickstart critical industry sectors where the UK leads the world and future proof our market leaders to sharpen our global competitive edge”.

The three new non-executive directors will take up their roles in April and May 2020. They replace esteemed colleagues Laura Shesgren and Ian Baverstock who are stepping down from the Board as their two-terms have concluded.