After initial confusion over the nationality of Microsoft New Zealand’s new country manager Kevin Ackhurst, Reseller News can now confirm he is in fact Zimbabwean, and not South African as first reported.
On Tuesday, 9 October, Microsoft announced that Ackhurst would replace Helen Robinson, who resigned last month, on 22 October. However, while its statement provided some background on Ackhurst, such as that he studied in Johannesburg, began his IT career at HP in South Africa, joined the Microsoft subsidiary there in 1997 and is a passionate rugby fan, it did not expressly state that he was South African.
Although all these details suggested Ackhurst is South African, it was also stated that he currently works for Microsoft in the US and before this was the Public Sector Director in Microsoft Australia from 2003 to 2006.
Therefore Reseller News thought it prudent not to make assumptions over Ackhurst’s nationality and contacted Microsoft’s recently appointed public relations agency, Porter Novelli, to confirm his nationality.
An account director at the company stated that Ackhurst was South African, which was how the story was originally reported.
But Microsoft New Zealand's Carol Leishman, corporate communications manager, subsequently informed Reseller News that he is from Zimbabwe not South Africa and the original article has been updated accordingly.