Zoaib Hoosen has resigned as MD of Microsoft’s South African subsidiary and will be replaced by Lillian Barnard, the software giant recently announced.
Hoosen, who has been at the helm of Microsoft South Africa for nearly five years, replaced Mteto Nyati in the role. Nyati, who joined MTN South Africa as CEO, is now CEO of JSE-listed Altron.
Barnard, who is currently director for the public sector unit at Microsoft South Africa, will take the reins on 1 March. She will be the first woman to hold the position since Microsoft reinvested in the country in the early 1990s.
Before joining Microsoft, Barnard served as the chief sales officer at Vodacom and worked for IBM for 15 years, seven of which were at the European headquarters in France and Switzerland, where she held many key positions.
She has served on the boards of Vodacom South Africa, airline Mango and the Dad-fund non-profit organisation.
Microsoft said in a statement that Barnard is “very passionate about the empowerment and advancement of women” and has a “personal mandate to develop Africa’s next generation of leaders”. She is patron of the Dream Girls International Outreach and Mentoring Programme of South Africa.
“Barnard joined Microsoft in May 2017 in her role as director, public sector, and was immediately earmarked as a potential successor to Hoosen,” the company said in a statement. “She has more than 20 years’ ICT experience having been in leadership roles both in South Africa and internationally.”
“Her development and impact as a leader, as a spokesperson, as technologist and as a seller within Microsoft have positioned her as an ideal successor capable of leading Microsoft South Africa into its next exciting chapter,” the statement said.
“During her tenure at Microsoft, Barnard has pulled together a strong public sector team that has delivered innovative digital solutions and helped digitally transform the South African government,” it added. “She has also been pivotal in re-igniting the South African chapter of Women@Microsoft and spurring a culture that embraces gender equality in the workplace.”