Strive Masiyiwa Becomes First African Appointed to Netflix’s Board of Directors
Econet Group’s Executive Chairman and Founder, Strive Masiyiwa has been appointed to the Netflix Board of Directors. Following the appointment, Masiyiwa becomes the first-ever African to join the global streaming giant’s top echelon.
With an estimated net worth of $1 billion, Zimbabwe’s richest businessman, Masiyiwa, leads mobile telecom giant Econet Global’s operations in over 20 countries across Africa and Europe.
Currently serving on several international boards including the Global Advisory boards of Bank of America and Stanford University as well as chairing the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, the Zimbabwean Telecom Mogul brings with him a wealth of managerial experience to the Netflix directorate.
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.Reed Hastings, Netflix Chairman and co-CEO
His appointment comes a week after Susan Rice, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations disclosed she would be quitting her role on the Netflix board to join US President-elect Joe Biden’s administration in January 2021.
Masiyiwa’s Netflix appointment is not the first trail he has blazed as he remains the only African member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Committee on Conscience.
Netflix’s move to appoint Masiyiwa is a clear indication of the company’s ambition to expand its reach in the world’s second-largest continent.
About Strive Masiyiwa
Born in Zimbabwe, Masiyiwa has his higher education at Edinburgh, Scotland before obtaining an Electrical Engineering degree at the University of Wales in 1983.
After working for about a year in the ICT industry at Cambridge, Masiyiwa returned to Zimbabwe in 1984 to work as a telecoms engineer for the country’s telephone company.
He later quit his job and founded his own telecom company, Econet Wireless in 1993. But Masiyiwa’s Econet could not secure an operating licence until 1998 when it finally ended telecom monopoly in Zimbabwe after a five-year legal battle with the late Robert Mugabe-led administration.
In the same year, the telecoms tycoon listed Econet on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, making it a publicly-traded company. Since then, Masiyiwa has remained at the helm of affairs of Econet Group. He also owns a 50% stake in Africa’s largest fibre optics business, Liquid Telecom.
On his latest appointment, Masiyiwa stated:
Netflix is at the forefront of bringing great entertainment from anywhere in the world to everyone in the world, and I look forward to working with the board and all stakeholders to continue its traditions of innovation and growth.Strive Masiyiwa
Globally recognised as one of Africa’s most prolific philanthropists, Masiyiwa donated $10 million earlier this year in funding and support to over 1,700 healthcare workers to aid the response against COVID-19.
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