Former Vodacom Executive Named Google Chief Marketing Officer For Africa

Written by Peter Pedroncelli

Google has announced the appointment of former Vodacom executive, Mzamo Masito, as its new chief marketing officer for the sub-Saharan African region.

The former managing executive at Vodacom left the South African telecoms firm, where he filled various senior roles at the company, to join Google, beginning his new position on Jan. 8, according to Marklives.

The marketing guru has an MBA from the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) in addition to a post-graduate diploma from the University of Cape Town.

Masito is well-respected within the marketing and media industry in South Africa, and is currently a lecturer at the AAA School of Advertising, while he serves on the Gordon Institute of Business Science advisory board.

Before numerous high-level roles at Vodacom, Masito enjoyed executive positions at Nike and Unilever, according to his LinkedIn profile, where he has described his new position at Google as director of marketing.

Chief marketing officer with a passion for Africa

Upon his appointment, Masito commented on his ambitions to use his new platform at the tech giant to benefit Africa and Africans.

“I spoke to a number of people before joining, and the consistent theme was Google’s humanity,” he said, according to Mediaupdate.

“The focus on teamwork, love of its people, and drive to achieve goals – this is why I joined the company. I hope while I am here I can channel my passion for Africa into the work we do,” he added.

As the chief marketing officer for sub-Saharan Africa, he will be based out of the company’s Johannesburg office with an overall responsibility over big markets in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya, in addition to the rest of the region.

New Google Launchpad Space in Africa

Google has been heavily focused on Africa and the opportunities that the continent holds for the company, as well as how the tech giant can support African entrepreneurs and communities.

Google recently launched a mentorship program that is focused on supporting African tech entrepreneurs, with a new Google Launchpad space now available in Nigeria.

Google Developers Launchpad Africa, which will operate in Lagos, is a mentorship program that aims to provide tech startups based in Africa with the tools to build sustainable businesses, according to ITNewsAfrica.

The Google Launchpad Space in Nigeria is the first onsite location for the program outside of the U.S.

Applications are open to tech startups in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda, as long as these startups have already raised seed funding.

African startups involved in this three-month mentorship program will receive more than $3 million in equity-free support, working space, travel, public relations support, and access to tech and business experts from Google, Silicon Valley, and Africa over the next three years.