Luke Mckend will join Google South Africa as country manager on 1 November 2010. Originally from South Africa, Luke has been with Google since 2006, working as an industry head in Google’s London office. In the UK he was responsible for managing a wide variety of businesses across the classified, property, restaurant, education, dating and job sectors.
“I am looking forward to being back in South Africa, and to helping South African enterprises take advantage of the online world to communicate with their customers and grow their businesses”, says Mckend.
“The internet is set to play a critical role in the country’s socio-economic development, and Google is committed to investing in South Africa and to making the internet locally relevant for all users.”
Meir Brand, regional director for South Africa, Israel and Greece says: "Google sees great potential in the South African market. We are excited to have Luke Mckend bring his expertise and knowledge to help fulfill that potential."
Prior to joining Google, Mckend was the commercial director of a startup tech company, iGrasp, which grew rapidly, being recognised as one of the fastest growing tech companies in the UK in 2005.
He also worked with some of the UK's largest brands, defining their approach to digital media while he was at TMP Worldwide, one of the UK's largest recruitment advertising firms at the time.
He finished his schooling at Fish Hoek High, and went on to complete his university education at Stellenbosch. He will be returning to South Africa with his partner and 5 year old daughter.
Mckend will take on the role previously left vacant by Stephen Newtown, who resigned as Google country head for South Africa in April this year.