Mr. Stafford Masie, Google’s country director, South Africa resigned on 2 March 2009,  after less than 18 months in the hot seat!

I remember being impressed by his eloquence at a MyBroadband conference where he gave a gung-ho, passionate presentation, complete with Google-themed Power Point slides and some nice interesting video clips.

This was immediately after he was appointed, and it was an impressive show. However, news soon emerged that the South African branch of Google was engaging in monopolistic, anti-competitive behavior, and attempting to squeeze out their own customers in the lucrative Ad-Search market. 1

It does not surprise me since Mr. Masie is a veteran of the corporate ICT industry in South Africa. Big business here is something of a cozy club of a a select few. A lot of scratching of each others’ backs and generally abhorrent forms of collusion occur regularly – as evidenced in several findings by various competition commissions 2. I always thought there was something of a mismatch between Google and Mr. Masie’s ‘South African big business mentality’, although he claims that the reasons for resignation are personal.

Now, of course, one never knows …  it could have been personal.

References

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