Managing Director of Google Australia Nick Leeder will leave to run the search giant’s French business by the end of March. Photo: James Brickwood
Google Australia head Nick Leeder, one of Australia's leading media executives, is leaving the country to run the search giant's French business.
The 43-year-old will finish his two-year stint as managing director of Google's Australian and New Zealand operations by the end of the month. He will become country manager of Google's business in France in April.
"My time with Google Australia and New Zealand has been one of the highlights of my career," he said. "The team here is doing tremendous things to help local partners, advertisers, and users. It's been an honour to be part of it. I look forward to watching Google's contribution to Australia and New Zealand grow in the coming years."
It is understood Mr Leeder was tapped by Google management to run the French operations, which have a much bigger market than Australia.
Mr Leeder is a former chief operating officer of the digital media division at Fairfax Media, publisher ofThe Australian Financial Review.
Google poached him in 2011 from News Ltd, where he had been COO of News' digital division and deputy chief executive of The Australian.
A fluent French speaker, he studied for his MBA at the prestigious INSEAD business school in Fontainebleau, France, and has a French wife.
After graduating from the University of Sydney with a first-class honours degree in pure maths, he worked for management consultants McKinsey & Co.
Google is searching for a replacement in Australasia both internally and externally. The company has already advertised for Mr Leeder's successor, listing among the preferred qualifications "a charismatic leader".
Google has a pattern of promoting its Australasian heads to other parts of the Google empire.
Mr Leeder's predecessor, Karim Temsamani, was promoted to global head of mobile ad sales at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California, and now heads its Asia-Pacific operations.
Mr Temsamani is a former magazine executive of Fairfax.
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