Facebook has appointed a head of business development for Australia, as the social media giant steps up efforts to expand revenues as growth slows.
Sales director Liam Walsh has been appointed director of Commercial Development and Sales for Facebook Australia, the company said.
Mr Walsh will assume his new duties while continuing to run Facebook's Australian business on a day-to-day basis, the company said. He joined Facebook in June 2011, after nearly three years at Microsoft's advertising division. Before that Mr Walsh worked at Fairfax, publisher of this site.
Facebook use has continued to grow in Australia over the past 18 months as more consumers - and businesses - turn to the medium for communication and commerce.
Facebook has 11.5 million active users in Australia, up 15 per cent from the 10 million registered users around March 2011, the company said. That growth - while separate from profits - lags global usage growth of 29 per cent to 955 million users in the year to June 2012.
Despite the announcement of Mr Walsh, the company anticipates a permanent head for the region will be named later.
“We are focused on recruiting for the Head of Australia and New Zealand role,” said Singapore-based Erik Johnson, vice president of Asia Pacific, Facebook, who noted that the company is looking for a candidate with experience in government and industry as well as social media.
While Facebook usage growth slows in Australia, the company also has had no shortage of troubles surrounding its botched float in the US.
Shares in the company are trading on Wall Street at $US21.81 ($20.62), less than half of the May 17 high of $US45 achieved on the first day of trading.
The fall in the share price in the public offering has triggered a wave of recriminations by retail investors and state regulators who have questioned the strategy and timing of the transaction and the benefit to retail investors.
Facebook said the monthly average time spent on the site has increased in Australia from 7.5 hours last year to more than 8 hours this year.