Kalahari.com has revealed that Dirk Oberholster will be joining the company as its new Chief Technical Officer (CTO).
Oberholster has 20 years of experience in technology management, and has held senior positions at various technology companies in South Africa, Dubai and the United Kingdom, most recently as Senior Manager: Software Development at Amazon Web Services (EC2). He has a degree in engineering from the University of Pretoria.
“Dirk brings to the party the perfect combination of knowledge and vision about how to marry the worlds of cutting edge technology and business and this will be very valuable to kalahari.com as we continue to grow and scale in a rapidly evolving industry,” says CEO Caren Genthner–Kappesz.
Genthner-Kappesz was appointed in January 2013 and previously held the positions of Chief Operations Officer at brands4friends, an eBay subsidiary and market leader in Germany, and General Manager for shopping.com Germany.
Oberholster previously held the position of Director of Software Manufacturing at Emaratech in Dubai, where he directed a large team that developed high level solutions for the public and private sectors. He also spent eight years in the UK working in senior technology positions, including stints at the BBC and Xerox.
“I am very excited about the challenge. My strength is in bringing worlds of tech and business together and I look forward to doing this at kalahari.com. The foundation for success lies in strong teams and kalahari.com certainly has an experienced team that pioneers in the e-tail industry in SA. I look forward to the things we can accomplish together.”
Oberholster continues: “The e-tail space is growing at a phenomenal rate in SA and kalahari.com is booming. In any growing e-tail company you reach a point in terms of scaling where you need more control and investment in the IT and tech side of the business. That’s where I come in. My vision is to strike the right balance between build vs buy and to introduce the right features for our customers, whilst at the same time building a world class technology centre. It’s important to make the right technology choices for the benefit of the business and its customers.”
Oberholster’s new role is focussed on two main elements: managing product development and cutting edge technologies and establishing kalahari.com as the employer of choice for the brightest techies in the country.