Google's plans to set up shop in New Zealand are forging ahead, with the search heavyweight hiring a country manager and advertising for at least two other staff to boost its activities there.
Former Fairfax manager Forsyth Thompson has been recruited to lead the push and ads have been placed online to fill a client services role and another post entitled "Creative Maximiser".
The latter role is charged with improving the performance of ads that run on Google and increasing the relevance of ads to New Zealand. They will also monitor and analyse campaign performance and work with the advertising sales team.
While Google has had a New Zealand search site for some time, the launch of a local office indicates the company is preparing to make significant inroads into the advertising market.
The client services role is also charged with managing advertising accounts and serving advertising clients.
Google has also launched its enterprise products in New Zealand, which allow the company's search technology to be used internally by companies for searching intranets and other information sources.
Google has launched a number of new products and services, most recently Google Checkout, which is currently available in the US only. The product allows online merchants to add checkout functionality to their sites and is seen by some as a potential rival to popular online payment system PayPal, owned by eBay.
Thompson was New Zealand country manager for Fairfax's enterprise computing magazine MIS.