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Microsoft appoints new Africa boss

Africa , 03 May 2023
Lilian Barnard, president Microsoft Africa.
Lilian Barnard, president Microsoft Africa.

Lillian Barnard has been named president for Microsoft Africa, a move the global technology company says is a milestone in its ongoing effort to drive impact on the continent.

Barnard’s new role was announced yesterday with Microsoft saying it is deepening its commitment to accelerating customer transformation in Africa with new two key leadership appointments.

The respected executive is moving up from her previous role as managing director of South Africa. That role will now be filled by Kalani Rampai.

In a statement, Microsoft said, Barnard is “well placed to head Microsoft’s involvement in the continent’s broad scale transformation and will draw on her more than 25 years of experience in the ICT industry.”

Before her appointment as managing director of Microsoft South Africa in 2019, Barnard held leadership positions with companies such as IBM and Vodacom.

Commenting on the appointment of Barnard and Rampai, Samer Abu-Ltaif, Microsoft Corporate VP and president, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “Microsoft is fully committed to Africa's digital future, creating opportunities, empowering individuals and businesses, and driving job growth that will benefit the entire region.

“For decades, we have worked tirelessly with governments and organisations across the continent to unlock opportunities for growth and innovation, and the appointments of Lillian and Kalane represent a significant milestone in this journey. 

"Both Lillian's and Kalane’s deep expertise in the ICT industry and proven success in delivering transformative solutions make them the ideal candidates to help us achieve our mission of creating a more connected, innovative, and prosperous Africa.

“With Lillian and Kalane at the helm of our regional and local operations, respectively, we are confident that Microsoft will continue to play a pivotal role in Africa's economic growth and success."

Barnard said: “As African organisations of all sizes, and across every sector, pivot and adapt to changing business and customer needs, they are looking for partners that can accelerate their agility, flexibility and competitiveness, while also cutting costs and driving efficiencies. 

"I am deeply passionate about unlocking the potential for growth using technology to deliver real impact for businesses, communities and economies across the continent.” 

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