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Kirsh finds value in new venture

Kirsh finds value in new venture

Though he’s mostly been out of the headlines in recent years, Primedia founder William Kirsh didn’t disappear into early retirement when he resigned in September 2009 as CEO of the media empire he led and helped build. Rather, he’s been hard at work creating a new business – with his father

Reading keeps Carrim in the (local) loop

Reading keeps Carrim in the (local) loop

South Africa’s communications minister, Yunus Carrim, likes to joke that his favourite book is Karl Marx’s Das Kapital, a joke which is aimed at those worried about his communist background. But, in reality, the former journalist and academic’s reading tastes are far more

The techie who got America to say ‘yes’

The techie who got America to say ‘yes’

The 2012 US presidential election campaign broke many records: the most money ever raised (and spent), the most ads ever flighted, the most words ever written. And, in the back offices of the Obama campaign, chief technology officer Harper Reed and his team were busy making it the most

Faith and focus for AdaptIT’s Shabalala

Faith and focus for AdaptIT’s Shabalala

AdaptIT founder and CEO Sbu Shabalala looks far younger than his 40 years. Impeccably dressed and softly spoken, Shabalala, a Durbanite, looks more like a backroom accountant than the head of a JSE-listed IT company. Over the

Meet Cell C’s ‘physicist’ CFO

Meet Cell C’s ‘physicist’ CFO

Cell C’s newly appointed chief financial officer, Robert Pasley, wanted to be a university professor, lecturing in theoretical physics, but pragmatism led him into the corporate world of finance and strategy. Pasley completed a

Meet Naspers’s geek in chief

Meet Naspers’s geek in chief

DStv Online CEO John Kotsaftis, 41, is the quintessential geek. He tells me as much when I sit down to interview him in one of the boardrooms at DStv Online’s offices in Randburg, Johannesburg. His love of technology started with a friend’s gaming console. “He got an Atari

Gustav Praekelt: boxing businessman

Gustav Praekelt: boxing businessman

Almost everyone has a mobile phone, however basic, making it the perfect tool to educate, market to or communicate with consumers. Taking this premise as its starting point, 42-year-old South African Gustav Praekelt started the Praekelt Foundation as a place to create applications and services for basic mobile phones

Meet Juliana Rotich, Kenyan tech crusader

Meet Juliana Rotich, Kenyan tech crusader

Juliana Rotich co-founded Ushahidi, a Kenyan-based nonprofit tech company, in 2008 with the aim of using technology to map reports of violence in the wake of Kenya’s closely contested December 2007 general election. Today, Ushahidi continues to create open-source software

Spratty: an Aussie in his element

Spratty: an Aussie in his element

A thick Australian accent belies the fact that digital agency Quirk’s CEO, 37-year-old Justin Spratt, is a South African and African at heart. “I f***ing love this place,” he says colourfully when I meet with him at the company’s Sandton offices. “I’m exceptionally passionate about Africa in general,” he quickly adds

Marian Shinn: from PR to politics

Marian Shinn: from PR to politics

Zimbabwean-born Democratic Alliance MP and shadow communications minister Marian Shinn is no career politician, having joined parliament only after the last general election in 2009. For most of her life, she was involved in journalism and, later, public relations. Shinn, 62, grew up in

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