Microsoft Africa makes two key new appointments

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The tech giant has appointed Lillian Barnard as president for Microsoft Africa, and named Kalane Rampai as managing director of Microsoft South Africa, succeeding Lillian.

Microsoft has strengthened its commitment to accelerate customer change in Africa by appointing two important individuals. Lillian Barnard has been chosen president of Microsoft Africa, a company dedicated to providing African organisations with the technology they need to elevate and expand their operations. Kalane Rampai will succeed Lillian as South Africa’s managing director, strengthening the country’s role as a vital contributor to Africa’s economy through broad-scale digital innovation.

The new appointments mark an important step forward in Microsoft’s ongoing quest to have a large influence in Africa. The company was the first hyperscale cloud provider on the continent to create an enterprise-grade data centre region, and it continues to invest in a strong technology ecosystem to spur economic growth.

Lillian is well-positioned to lead Microsoft’s participation in the continent’s large-scale transformation, drawing on her more than 25 years of expertise in the ICT business. She held executive positions at IBM and Vodacom before being appointed managing director of Microsoft South Africa in 2019.

“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,” Lillian says.

Kalane has more than 20 years of management consulting experience, with vast industry experience and a proven track record of assisting customers in transforming their businesses, implementing sustainable change, and driving innovation to gain a competitive advantage.

“It’s an exciting time to step into this role, and I look forward to advancing the competitiveness of customers and businesses of all sizes and across industries in South Africa and the broader continent, enabling them to benefit from our strong partner ecosystem and best practices in ongoing digital transformation,” he says.

Commenting on the appointments, Samer Abu-Ltaif, Microsoft corporate VP and president central and eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “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.”

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