Google grabs Novell SA boss

Johannesburg, 27 Jul 2007

Novell SA country manager Stafford Masie has resigned in order to establish and head up the local operation of Internet giant Google.

The Novell veteran has led the South African office since 2003. Prior to that, Masie served at the company's corporate headquarters in Utah and Arizona, US.

This morning, Masie confirmed his resignation from software house Novell and his appointment as GM for Google locally.

"I will be heading up Google's operations in SA as of 3 September, more than that I cannot say. Google will issue a formal statement soon," he said.

Last year, ITWeb reported that Google was advertising three posts in SA on its jobs site. These included a country manager, vertical account manager and a multi-sector vertical head. Currently, the company has no available posts listed for the Africa region.

Meanwhile, Novell SA's marketing and channel manager, Trish Barwick, says the company is "honoured" that one of its people has been selected to open Google's local office.

"We are sad to see him go; but very excited about what he will be doing," she says.

A statement regarding Masie's replacement will be made shortly, Barwick adds.

Google was unavailable for comment. Its chairman and CEO, Eric Schmidt, was recruited in 2001 by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin from Novell, where he was chairman and CEO.

Masie spent four years at Novell corporate headquarters in Utah, where he was involved in developing the strategy that saw Novell acquire Linux innovator Ximian and SuSe Linux in 2003, and become an open source software (OSS) company.

He returned to SA in late 2003 to take the reins of Novell SA, becoming the youngest country manger of an IT multinational subsidiary in the country. He has been credited with repositioning Novell as an OSS vendor, as well as being a champion of the OSS movement in South Africa.

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