Zimbabwean telecoms billionaire Strive Masiyiwa has been announced as the first African on Netflix’s board of directors. According to Bloomberg, Netflix announced the news early this Thursday. Masiyiwa is the founder behind giant telecommunications company Econet which has business locations in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. The global streaming company is set to increase Netflix’s marketing base in Africa and has reportedly selected Masiyiwa for his connections and historical business enterprise.
Netflix co-founder, chairman and co-CEO Reed Hastings welcomed Masiyiwa as reported by The Hollywood Reporter:
“We are delighted to welcome Strive to the Netflix board. His entrepreneurship and vision in building businesses across Africa and beyond will bring valuable insights and experience to our board as we work to improve and serve more members all around the world.”
The billionaire makes the top three board members, two of whom are European. Masiyiwa has extensive business experience and has sat on several boards. He served on a number of international boards including Unilever, National Geographic Society, Asia Society, and the Global Advisory boards of Bank of America, the Council on Foreign Relations in the US, Stanford University, and the Prince of Wales Trust for Africa, this according to BusinessDay.
Masiyiwa’s Econet reportedly operates in 29 African countries, proving that this is the merger that Netflix needs to accelerate its market range and reach. According to Quartz Africa, Masiyiwa said that he looks forward to “working with the board and all stakeholders to continue its traditions of innovation and growth“.
Though Masiyiwa is the first African director for Netflix, he is not the first Black representative. Out going director, Susan Rice, was the first Black female recruited by the streaming giant. Masiyiwa replaces Rice as she resigned to serve in US President Joe Biden‘s incoming administration. Masiyiwa recently acquired 300 million US dollars from the US International Development Finance Corporation for his business ventures in data storage.
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