Google Australia’s head leaves for France: Midday roundup

The head of Google’s Australian division, Nick Leeder, has left his post for a position running the company’s French division.

Leeder, who is fluent in French, is leaving Sydney for Paris and said in a statement his time as managing director in Australia had been a career highlight.

“My time with Google Australia and New Zealand has been one of the highlights of my career. 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.

“The team here is doing tremendous things to help local partners, advertisers, and users,” he says in a statement.

A job advertisement posted yesterday reveals the country director of Australia and New Zealand is responsible for establishing commercial strategy, building advertising sales, and fostering relationships with advertisers, publishers and other partners.

Prior to working with Google, Leeder was a News Limited executive.

ABS retail trade figures positive for January

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics retail trade figures released this morning show retail turnover rose 0.9%in January 2013, seasonally adjusted, following a fall of 0.4% fall in December 2012.

Household goods retailing was up 1.3%, cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services rose 1% and clothing, footwear and personal accessory increased by 0.7%.

Food retailing only rose 0.3%, but the ABS report it remains the largest contributor to growth in the long term.

New South Wales had the largest increase on a state basis, up 1.3%, followed by Victoria with a 1% increase.

Australian shares bounce back

The Australian stock market has opened high, following strong gains in the banking sector.

Australian shares have rebounded after a dismal day yesterday, influenced by China tightening its property market.

At midday the S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 75 points to 5085.5.

All major banks were performing well, with Commonwealth Bank shares significantly up by $1.59 to $68.71.

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