Joe Mucheru to head Google Kenya

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Joe Mucheru is the new Google Kenya country lead, taking over from Olga Arara-Kimani.

After overseeing the establishment and growth of Google in Africa, from single staff to 80, from one country to eight, Mucheru will now be concentrating his efforts on Kenya.

“This was my decision, I have been spending one in four weeks in Kenya; it’s good for my family and great for the country,” said Mucheru.

Mucheru is probably the most experienced in Kenya’s tech industry, having started around 1990, co-founded Wananchi Online to the position where an international firm could buy in, after managing to bring the cost of connectivity down. I still remember Wananchi adverts for a dial up for 12k and that was a real bargain.

Sub Saharan Africa will be taken over by Meir Brand, Google Managing Director based in Israel. Brand will be overseeing staff in Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Senegal and Nigeria?

The main reason is that Google is moving to the commercialize ton stage, having invested much and when they looks around, Brand provided the best opportunity.

“in terms of commercialization, Israel has been bringing Google the highest income compared to other markets, of course we want the best and Brand provided the best option,” added Mucheru.

But why take a position as a country lead while he headed the region?
Mucheru was inspired by John Michuki, the late environment minister, who was eulogized by many for the reforms he brought while at the helm of the transport ministry.

As the regional lead, Mucheru could not interfere with the country operations because that would step in many toes. That brings to mind the recent Mocality debacle that led to Olga’s departure.

“I listened and witnessed what Michuki had done and how people thought of him, I want to leave a legacy and the market I understand better is Kenya, I may head the region but I will never be Ghanian or Senegalese, I will always be Kenyan and that is where I want to bring change,” He added.

So if you are wondering whether its a demotion or not, I guess he will say, there comes a time when decisions have to be made.

What do you think of the move?

6 COMMENTS

  1. It is all about making an impact, both for the firm and in the tech industry in general. There is something to be said about being able to shine when one does what one is most comfortable with. Mucheru will put Google Kenya, and Kenyan techies, on the map. All the best!

  2. Courageous decision. Sounds like a man who has a firm grasp on what is truly important.

  3. We do not like the loss of the region portfolio for Mucheru but this makes him more accessible to me as a Kenyan techprenuer that wants to work with Google in market as he understands our market very well. To be honest, it will probably work better for the Kenyan tech community with Mucheru more in Nairobi. We shall make him shine even more as Kenya becomes a showcase market for Google in Sub-Saharan Africa.

  4. “This was my decision, I have been spending one in four weeks in Kenya; it’s good for my family and great for the country,” said Mucheru.

    With a young family, spending 1/4 weeks with them is not good.

    Of course the Kenyan tech scene will benefit…

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