Who is Lars Johannisson? Rack Centre Appoints New CEO

Lars Johannisson Joins Rack Centre With an Extensive Background in Transformative Industries, as the Company Commits to Launching a Data Centre in Nigeria

Rack Centre has announced the appointment of Lars Johannisson as its new CEO.

Well-versed in leading transformative industries, Johannisson holds a wealth of experience and robust data centre industry knowledge. He holds extensive experience in telecoms, IT delivery, managed services and digital skilling, having led numerous organisations in Africa. Over the past 14 years, he has executed large projects in more than 30 sub-saharan countries.

The company is one of West Africa’s leading connected carrier and cloud neutral data centre companies. It recently achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first International Finance Corporation (IFC) edge-certified data centre in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Building a robust ecosystem

Johannisson holds an MBA in General Management and Finance from the Stockholm School of Economics and has also completed the Stanford University Executive Programme on ‘Design, Innovation and Business Transformation’. 

Prior to joining Rack Centre at the start of 2024, he previously worked at Ericsson for more than 20 years, working on the company’s global transformation programme. He has also worked at other notable organisations across Africa, including as the CEO of Teleperformance in Sub-Saharan Africa, heading the world’s leading company in digital customer experience in the group’s emerging market, in addition to SolarNow and YNV Group.

Based in Cape Town, South Africa, Johannisson is an active participant in digital and economic inclusion discussions in sub-saharan Africa. Throughout his career, he has sponsored economic inclusion initiatives for hiring and training young people in IT sectors.

Now, he is aiming to boost Rack Centre and solidify its position as one of the most connected facilities across Africa. The company has recently been officially designated the first Green Certified Data Centre in the continent and holds 65 telecommunication carriers, Internet Service Providers, Global Tier 1 networks and pan-Africa international carriers.

“We are delighted to welcome Lars Johannisson on board as the new Chief Executive Officer of Rack Centre. He brings vast experience, and strategic leadership that will propel Rack Centre to new heights,” says Jasper Lankhorst, Group Chief Executive Officer of Rack Centre. 

“I have full confidence in Lars’s ability to steer our company towards continued success, and I look forward to working closely with him to advance our position as a leading data centre provider.”

Advancing data centre presence across Africa

During a time where Africa in particular is experiencing accelerated demand for digital technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), data centre businesses are seeking to help countries across the continent advance growth opportunities and better provide data and digital infrastructures.

Speaking on his new role as CEO, Johannisson has highlighted the company’s market leadership and its unique position as a provider of premium data centre services in the Nigerian digital ecosystem in particular.

He expressed his commitment towards advancing digital growth in Nigeria and will be instrumental in leading a team dedicated to launching a hyperscale-ready 12MW data centre facility in Lagos in Q2 2024.

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