Google has fired its Country Lead for Kenya Olga Arara-Kimani and “a technical guy in Zurich”, the Kenyan tech blog Nairobi Tech reports.
While the information hasn’t been officially announced, it seems to be confirmed by a message Google’s VP for EMEA Nelson Motta posted on Google + last Friday:
We’ve concluded our investigation into the serious allegations about our use of data from Mocality’s website in Kenya. We’re very sorry this happened. We’ve taken appropriate action with the people involved and made changes in our operations to ensure this doesn’t occur again.
According to Mocality, Google representatives had been using its database to promote Google’s competing product, while misleading Mocality’s clients on the existing relationship between the two companies.
The news rapidly became viral, tarnishing Google’s image – unfair competition against an African business doesn’t go very well with the company’s “Don’t be evil” mantra. A serious PR crisis was looming, which could annihilate the impact of Google’s initiatives in the region.
At the time, Google promptly apologized, saying it was “mortified” and announcing an internal investigation.
It may have taken a few weeks, but the results are there; the company took action and finally fired two employees, although their involvement in those malpractices is still unclear. We will update this article if Google releases more details.