After a three-month search, Google Australia and NZ has hired a Murdoch group executive as its new managing director. Nick Leeder, former deputy chief executive of The Australian newspaper, will slip behind the executive desk in late March.
He replaces another former newsman, ex-Fairfax executive Karim Temsamani, who was promoted to run Google’s mobile ad sales business in the US. Temsamani left in October.
At News Ltd, Leeder has been working on the group’s plans for publishing paid content via the Internet, including the online and iPhone versions of The Australian. He scored a farewell accolade from News chairman John Hartigan, who said that, together with CEO Richard Freudenstein, “he tripled traffic and revenue at News Digital Media and over the past 12 months has brought new focus and drive to The Australian’s commercial operations.”
At Google, Asia-Pac president Daniel Alegre made it plain he expects to tap into those talents. He said: “Google is investing significantly in Australia and New Zealand to help businesses of all sizes, from small and large advertisers to advertising agencies and publishers, grow online. In the next year, Nick will help us to increase our investment locally and better serve our users, advertisers and partners.”