Michael Bailey Deputy editor

Michael has been a business journalist for 12 years. He has extensive experience editing magazines covering funds management, commercial property and the travel industry. In 2011 he won a Citi Excellence in Financial Journalism award for a BRW cover story on economic indicators.

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Google’s Nick Leeder departs for France

Published 04 March 2013 14:02, Updated 06 March 2013 06:33

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Google’s Nick Leeder departs for France

Google’s Australian chief Nick Leeder is leaving to run the company’s operations in France, leaving the job of local chief open. Photo: Tamara Voninski

The job running Google in Australia is vacant, with incumbent CEO Nick Leeder to depart to run the search giant’s French operations.

“My time with Google Australia and New Zealand has been one of the highlights of my career. The team here is doing tremendous things to help local partners, advertisers, and users,” Leeder said in a statement.

“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.”

In February Leeder threw his support for the Gillard government’s plans for innovation precincts, saying Australia needed a “critical mass” of tech-savvy companies.

Google was involved in plans to create an Australian version of California’s Silicon Valley, which people have dubbed a “Silicon Beach”.

Melbourne had done better than arch-rival Sydney over recent years in bringing its venture capital together into a community that could support innovation, he said.

A former Fairfax Media executive, Leeder joined Google in March 2011.

During his tenure at the head of the Australian business Google has also fought battles with the Australian Taxation Office over whether the company’s Australian operation is paying enough tax.