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New Google head for South Africa

South Africa has a new Google boss.

Stafford Masie, the former head of Novell South Africa and a relative unknown outside IT circles, has been appointed the new South Africa Google head, reports ITWeb and Mail & Guardian Online.

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It’s taken them a while to find the person. The job has been advertised for over two years via the Google website. I know quite a few people — mainly in the online media sector — who were interviewed for the job, and the option they went for, someone who works for a software company, is an interesting choice. At first glance it looks like a safe, but good choice. It probably gave Google comfort that they were appointing someone who worked for a local arm of a US-based company and had international experience in the IT sector. I’m also pretty sure I have an inkling of another South African who was offered the job, but didn’t get it, because I believe he was asking too much.

Tectonic reports that Masie has spent time working in the US and has been a key, and outspoken, figure in the open source and Linux movement in the country.

Given that Google’s strategy is all determined in the US — you would expect the local position to primarily be that of implementation with a strong sales function to push the use of Google adsense/adwords. After all Google is mainly an advertising agency these days if you go by where its revenue streams are derived from. And yes, it’s a search engine too.

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