Willem Breytenbach is the managing director and founder of Lightspeed Digital Media.
With international digital and traditional media experience, Willem leads our clients globally and across every industry, helping them to use socially and digitally engineered networks to grow their brand’s value and service offerings, so as to ensure sustainable business models.
Willem was also a co-founder and director of Lumico Content Scientists, a digital content agency that improves brand communication, creates digital strategies and manages digital projects from top to bottom.
Before founding his own companies, Willem headed up the digital division of Media24 Magazines – a Naspers-owned company and the leading magazine publisher in Africa. He was responsible for digital innovation, circulation, subscriptions and advertising revenue streams within his division. Willem and his team redefined the boundaries of business modelling for cross-platform media through their innovative digital content solutions. His team worked with publishers and media consultants across the United States, the Netherlands and Turkey.
Willem also headed up the Media24 Weekly Magazines division in Southern Africa, which published products for South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Angola. Managing these brands meant that Willem attended multiple international magazine events and conferences, such as FIPP, DLD and the Digital Innovation Summit.
Prior to working in magazines, Willem spent three years in New Delhi where he headed up business development for the Naspers Group in India and the general region. He was tasked with mapping the Indian media market: television, newspapers, magazines, Internet and mobile-TV verticals. Willem established Naspers’ first office in India and played a role in setting up Ibibo. Ibibo is an e-commerce and social media joint venture between Naspers and Tencent, the Chinese Internet company. During this time he was also involved in the roll out of Naspers’ print and media ventures in China, Russia, Brazil and Greece.
Willem started his career as a newspaper journalist before becoming the Business Editor and later the News Editor of Die Burger newspaper. This was followed by his appointment as Marketing Director for the newspaper group of Media24.
Willem has also served as the Chairman of the Magazine Publishers Association of South Africa (MPASA), as well as a board member of both the Print and Digital Media South Africa (PDMSA) and the Audit Bureau of Circulations of South Africa (ABC). In 2009 Willem was awarded the prestigious South African Publisher of the Year Award and as a journalist, he was twice awarded the South African Educational News Reporter of the Year Award.