Google Australia & New Zealand this afternoon revealed it has appointed Nick Leeder as its new managing director, after having tracked down candidates over the past three months.
Leeder's background reflects Google's selection criteria as publicly detailed on its career website when the position was vacant. Google's ideal candidate had "a strong academic record, with a higher level degree preferred, at least 15 years of combined experience in media, advertising, management and consulting".
To start with, Leeder holds a degree in pure mathematics from the University of Sydney and a Masters in Business Administration from INSEAD in France. He previously worked at News Limited, where he was COO of News Digital Media since 2006 and deputy CEO of The Australian. He has also been employed by Fairfax and consulting firm McKinsey & Co.
"I'm excited to have the opportunity to take on this new role. Google is a company that's not afraid to take risks and experiment with new ways to help users, advertisers and partners," Leeder said. "Their business is innovation, and I look forward to being part of that and joining Google's strong local leadership team".
He will now take responsibility for Google's sales and business development operations in Australia and New Zealand, replacing the search giant's Australian chief Karim Temsamani who has been promoted to be Google's head of global mobile sales in the US.
Temsamani left Google ANZ in October 2010, after two-and-a-half years. Leeder won't start until late March 2011, thus leaving the role to a team of core-leaders who, according to previous Google statements, are acting as an interim MD of sorts.
Google's president for Asia-Pacific and Japan, Daniel Alegre, said the appointment of Leeder will help Google to expand its digital market locally. He said Google has been investing significantly in Australia and New Zealand, helping small and large advertising and publishing businesses to grow online.
"Nick joins Google at an exciting time for our business and for the digital economy in Australia and New Zealand," he said. "In the next year, Nick will help us to increase our investment locally and better serve our users, advertisers and partners."