Piers Linney is the third Dragon to quit the den after series 12

The Dragons' Den entrepreneur will bow out after the current season, following Duncan Bannatyne and Kelly Hoppen out the door...

After over 200 pitches and nine deals, technology entrepreneur Piers Linney is bowing out of Dragons’ Den. 

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The businessman has spent the last two years hearing proposals alongside Duncan Bannatyne, Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones and Kelly Hoppen, but is retiring from the den to concentrate on his own cloud computing company Outsourcery.

“I have enjoyed every minute of my time on Dragons’ Den and feel honoured to have had the opportunity to contribute to such an iconic and long-running TV show and to have been the first Dragon with Afro Caribbean heritage,” said Linney.

“It is now the right time for me to move on, although entrepreneurship and diversity are two of my greatest passions so I will continue to focus my energies on supporting both. It has been a great experience and a pleasure to share with millions of viewers the growing importance of digital innovation and how the technology and creative sectors are making their profound marks on the evolving landscape of British business.

“It will be interesting to see who takes my seat.”

His decision to quit the show comes after two Dragons – Bannatyne and Hoppen – announced their departure at the end of the current twelfth series. 

A recent RadioTimes.com poll to see who should replace the pair in the den sees Richard Branson come out on top, followed by former Dragon Theo Paphitis and lingerie businesswoman Michelle Mone.

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However, the departure of three of the five incumbent Dragons begs the question: will show bosses recruit new millionaires for a dramatic overhaul or call time on the popular BBC2 format?