Salesforce establishes African presence and makes key appointments

By our News Team | 2022

Global CRM specialist recognises local potential and aims to meet the continent’s high demand for these skills.

Salesforce, the global customer-relationship management (CRM) specialist, has announced expansion plans in South Africa by establishing its first legal entity in the country. In addition, it has confirmed the appointment of its first two SA leaders: Zuko Mdwaba as Head of Sales and Linda Saunders as Head of Solution Engineering.

According to the company, South Africa is a rapidly developing and youthful market with enormous potential. Salesforce has been operating in the country for the past decade through a system of local partners.

Salesforce said in a media statement that its “growing customer base has been fuelled by businesses accelerating their digital transformation and partnering with Salesforce as their trusted digital advisor”. SA clients vary from micro-businesses to publicly listed multinationals.

Customer Relationship Management

Zuko Mdwaba of Salesforce. Photo via LinkedIn

“I am delighted to welcome Zuko Mdwaba and Linda Saunders to Salesforce to lead our growth in South Africa by working with our customers, partners and broader ecosystem,” says Robin Fisher, Senior Area Vice President for Emerging Markets at Salesforce.

Provide skills and local job opportunities

“Africa has a great talent pool and we intend to collaborate closely with our partners and local institutions on programs that provide skills and job opportunities to meet the continent’s high demand for Salesforce skills, while also recognising Africa’s potential as a global talent hub.”

Mdwaba has over two decades of experience leading and developing technology companies in South Africa. Prior to joining Salesforce, he held leadership roles at Atos, Oracle, SAS, and Workday South Africa. Mdwaba will be one of the first Salesforce executives to be based in South Africa and will lead the company’s growth and expansion across the market.

Saunders has a broad experience helping companies in their Digital Transformation journey. In her role as Head of Solution Engineering, Saunders will support Salesforce customers to develop their businesses’ digital capabilities and will also play a leading role in supporting organisations and individuals to gain new digital skills through initiatives such as Salesforce’s online learning platform, Trailhead.

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.