Google searches for new SA office staff
|August 15, 2006|
THE company behind the world’s most popular internet search engine is planning to open an office in Johannesburg or Cape Town.
Google is advertising for a country business manager and two sales positions in a move that threatens local search engines, but could also grow the market for all players.
The adverts are among dozens of international vacancies on Google’s website as the company expands its global presence.
The business manager for SA must be “a seasoned professional” to drive its sales and operations, with a proven ability to build a team.
The other jobs are for an account manager and a person to “educate the market on the rewards of online advertising”.
“This shows we have become important, if the largest and most successful internet organisation in the world is thinking about SA, and I’m really proud of that,” Mark Buwalda, MD of Ananzi, SA’s most popular search engine, said yesterday.
The direct presence of Google could dent the number of people using Ananzi, but “we are only one click away,” Buwalda said. If people did not find what they wanted from a Google search they could try Ananzi, and vice versa, he said.
“We always have to be careful but we operate in a global environment. If the largest player in the world is opening up a full scale office in SA, it’s good for everyone,” Buwalda said.
Google’s new office would be promoting its own search engine and other services, but hopefully it would also be spending money in SA and not repatriating all its profit, Buwalda said.
In July last year, Amazon.com, the world’s most successful online retailer, opened a development centre in Cape Town by recruiting about a dozen developers with a salary package that included “meaningful” share ownership.
Google has long recognised SA as a country worth catering for. Last year it created easier means to search in Afrikaans or Zulu and added Sesotho and Xhosa translations of its website.
Previously, users had to click on a language-tools icon to view the site in other languages.
Now a line offering the four languages automatically appears when Google is called up on a computer in SA.