It’s probably been the worst kept secret in the industry, but now that it is out on Bizcommunity there is no point in not going public.
I can confirm that after 8 years I am leaving the Mail & Guardian Online to pursue another opportunity. I feel that I’m leaving on a high note, with the business in excellent shape and the new website and CMS developed and launched. It’s been an emotional process for me as I am entertwined with the brand and have quite a bit of loyalty to it and respect for the M&G Exco (Trevor Ncube, Ferial Haffajee, Hoosain Karjieker, Anastacia Martin, Mendo Letlape), who I consider to be some of the leading media minds in the country.
Eight years is a long time for any online person, who are accustomed to job hopping every two years (!) , but the Mail & Guardian has been such a great place to work in that it has been difficult for me to think about going anywhere else. There is an entrepreneurial, innovative flair here that you do not see in many other businesses.
In recent years we have launched 11 new websites and online businesses (including Thought Leader, Tech Leader, Sports Leader, amatomu, jobconnection.co.za, theguide.co.za, newsinphotos), 7 new mobile sites, and redesigned and relaunched the M&G Online with a brand-new CMS. The site’s traffic has grown 9-fold in the last 6 years and online revenues have grown 21-fold. We grew the online department from 2 people to 17 people, keeping it at break even or profitable most of the time, which is no easy task.
It’s been the best 8 years of my life and the online business will continue to grow and thrive, especially with the strong managers in the department which include our online sales manager Bryan Khumalo and online editor Riaan Wolmarans and the new talent we have brought onboard, including the young Nic Haralambous. It also means the company is advertising for a new GM — if you think you have what it takes, then get hold of me.
Coincidentally my partner in crime, Vincent Maher, is also departing for another opportunity — and I can’t begin to express how great is has been to work with a person who I consider to be one of the most brilliant minds in the online industry.
So, this then, is an excuse for a piss up — and if you are up for a party — please join us @ Capitol, in Rosebank on Friday (cnr Keyes ave & Tyrwhitt ave, ph: 011 880 0033) from 5pm onwards. You’re invited.