Stated OC CEO Danny Jordaan, “We are delighted to have Rich Mkhondo join the Organising Committee team. He is an outstanding journalist with extensive experience and is well-equipped for the job of chief communications officer.
“Things are really shaping up well as we prepare for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 and 2010 FIFA World Cup and we look forward to Rich leading the team that will keep the media and public well informed about developments, while catering for the needs of the local and international media and supporting our marketing efforts.”
Commented Chris Moerdyk, marketing and media analyst and Bizcommunity.com columnist, "Rich Mkhondo should add a lot of weight to the 2010 communications effort. Having spent some time as a spokesman for SAA, he certainly understands crisis communication and being able to handle tough questions from the media because SAA is about the best school in the world for that.
“He has had a lot of experience on both sides of the fence and will hopefully slot into Derek Carsten's marketing plans to get all of South Africa to buy into the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity 2010 is giving us on a silver plate..."
Hails from Katlehong
Mkhondo hails from Katlehong and started his journalistic career at the Rand Daily Mail
in 1984, before moving to the Reuters agency, covering 15 southern African countries. He later moved to Independent Newspapers, where he was the group's Washington correspondent and also acting deputy editor of Pretoria News
. In 2000 he was also deputy editor of The Citizen
newspaper and in 1993 was the author of the book Reporting South Africa
Prior to joining Ogilvy, Mkhondo was deputy general manager for marketing services at Discovery, South Africa's life and health insurance giant. Before joining Discovery, Mkhondo was executive manager for Corporate Communications at South African Airways (SAA).
Mkhondo has attended an Executive Management course at Harvard University. Some of the awards he has garnered include the Ford Foundation Travel and Writing Grant, Outstanding Journalist Award by Centre for Foreign Journalists (1995) and the Alfred Friendly Press Fellowship, where he was hosted by the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“For me it's an important opportunity to help put our country and our continent on the map. It's an opportunity, if given the chance, nobody would want to miss. And I look forward to working with the football fraternity and with the team at the Organising Committee to make sure we communicate our readiness to host the world's biggest showpiece. It's a challenge I relish and I look forward to being part of the biggest sporting event in the world,” said Mkhondo.