Deep tech incubator Cicada Innovations appoints Google exec Sally-Ann Williams as CEO

- June 4, 2019 < 1 MIN READ

The incoming CEO of Cicada Innovations, Sally-Ann Williams

Sydney-based deep tech incubator Cicada Innovations has recruited senior Google executive Sally-Ann Williams to lead the organisation as CEO.

Chairman Andrew Rothery said Williams was the ideal person for the task and chosen for her vast experience in technology-driven businesses and Australia’s start-up ecosystem.

“The experience she has garnered over 12 years with Google Australia & NZ, including as the Executive Program Manager (Engineering Community & Outreach) and in various roles interacting with high-level constituents such as governments and universities, will be invaluable to Cicada,” he said.

“Most importantly, she is a passionate advocate for deep technology and computing science and STEM education.”

Williams will take over on July 1, replacing Petra Andrén.

Cicada Innovations is focused on taking startups to commercialisation and global scale-up and has created industry-specific accelerator programs such as MedLab or GrowLab for ag tech.

Last year Cicada was declared the World’s Best Incubator,  for a second time, and Technology Focus Incubator of the Year by peak global body the International Business Incubator Association (InBIA). Founded in 2000, Cicada is a private business, co-owned by four universities: ANU, the University of NSW, Sydney and UTS.

Williams, a non-executive director at Fishburners and World Vision Australia, said the challenge for Australian innovation has always been commercialisation, and scaling businesses and products.

“This is where Cicada Innovations is changing the way we approach innovation, and it’s with great excitement that I take the role of CEO and get to work co-creating the Australia of tomorrow in conjunction with our residents, partners, and shareholders,” she said.