Digital DNA has announced the appointment of Simon Bailie as its new chief executive. Formerly commercial director at the organisation, Mr Bailie will lead the organisation as it embarks on a new phase of growth and expansion in local and international markets.

Founded in 2013 by Gareth Quinn, Digital DNA is renowned for its flagship digital and tech conference, attracting thousands of international delegates to Belfast in June each year. The event in St George’s Market in June this year is estimated to have contributed over £3m to the local economy.

According to Gareth Quinn, the organisation’s growth has exceeded all expectations. “When I founded Digital DNA just over five years ago, I had no idea what I was doing, nor did I have any real concept of just how big it would grow and the significant impact it would have on tens of thousands of individuals and hundreds of businesses every year, locally and internationally,” he said.

“But with the support of some amazing people, we got it off the ground and delivered a fantastic inaugural event. It was originally intended to be a one-off event but, based on the feedback I received, I felt that I had to hold it again and, from there, it just grew a life of its own.

“As the business has grown, I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to incorporate other initiatives under the brand, including the Digital DNA Awards and our Digital Futures Programme,” he continued.

“Through Digital Futures, every year we engage and inspire several thousand 13-18-year olds to create a technology solution to a social or business challenge, taking the winning team to San Francisco and Silicon Valley to meet and learn from some of the biggest names in tech. This initiative, in particular, is something of which I am immensely proud as we look to inspire the next generation with the wealth of opportunities available within the tech industry.”

Commenting on the appointment of Simon Bailie as CEO, Mr Quinn continued: “Digital DNA’s success is down to one thing: our amazing team that, despite all the odds, has grown significantly year on year.

“Since joining the team two years ago, Simon has played a pivotal role in Digital DNA’s continued growth and as we embark on a new chapter, we are excited by the direction and leadership he will bring. His passion for Northern Ireland and its economic opportunity reflects exactly why Digital DNA was created and we have every confidence that he will do an outstanding job in leading the organisation through our next phase of growth.”

Simon Bailie commented: “Belfast’s global reputation as an emerging hub for digital and tech continues to flourish and attracts some formidable international firms. As the global spotlight continues to shine on Northern Ireland, Digital DNA will continue to have an important role to play in providing an international stage on which to showcase our incredible talent and innovation.

“In recent years we have invested in developing an outstanding team of ambitious and driven individuals who, collectively, possess the strength and passion needed to drive Digital DNA forward. Supported by our fantastic private and public-sector partners, I look forward to leading this team as we continue to bring new and exciting opportunities to the burgeoning digital and tech sector in Northern Ireland.”

Going forward, Digital DNA’s senior leadership team will comprise Simon Bailie, CEO; Gareth Quinn, founder & director; Brian Corry, director; and Mark Duffin, operations director.

Upcoming Digital DNA events include the Digital DNA Awards on 28th March 2019 and Digital DNA 2019 taking place in St George’s Market on 18th and 19th June. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased at a ‘Super Early bird Rate’ by visiting www.digitaldna.org.uk.

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