Google appoints Adaire Fox-Martin as new Irish head

Former schoolteacher from Dublin will step into role vacated by Australian Nick Leeder

Google Ireland has appointed a new head of operations, with Adaire Fox-Martin stepping into the role vacated by Nick Leeder two years after his appointment.

Ms Fox-Martin was appointed Google’s EMEA cloud president in July 2021, marking a return to Ireland after several years working overseas.

“I joined Google in 2021 to lead the EMEA cloud team. In the short time I have been a part of Google Ireland I have seen the breadth and depth of talent and value across the Irish operations,” Ms Fox-Martin said. “One thing I have seen already in my short time at Google Ireland is the opportunity digital can unlock for Irish businesses. I am inspired by the potential for a positive impact on the communities we live in and serve.”


In addition to her role as head of Google Ireland, which she will take up on Tuesday, Ms Fox-Martin will continue to lead Google's cloud operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


Initially starting her career as a schoolteacher, Ms Fox-Martin moved into the tech sector with Oracle. "Somebody saw something in me that maybe I didn't see in myself. They took a risk on me; I was a high-risk profile for that transition," she said.

She then spent several years in Australia with the company before relocating to Singapore where she headed up SAP's Asia Pacific business.

After moving back to Europe, Ms Fox-Martin took over responsibility for SAP’s global sales and became the second woman to be appointed to the German company’s executive board. Her departure was announced in January 2021, with her appointment to Google’s cloud business announced a few months later.

Fortune magazine named her one of the 50 most powerful women four times, and she was named the recipient of SAP’s Distinguished Leader Award for the Asia-Pacific-Japan region.


She has also been at the forefront of social entrepreneurship programmes at her former employer, founding the One Billion Lives programme that fosters social entrepreneurship.

Mr Leeder, who was appointed to the Google Ireland role in March 2020 following the departure of Fionnuala Meehan, is returning to Australia. He initially joined Google in March 2011 as managing director for Australia and New Zealand, before moving to head up the company's operations in France.

In 2017, he relocated to Dublin where he was appointed vice-president for Europe, Middle East and Africa of large customer sales, assuming responsibility for the expansion of Google’s relationships with the company’s largest customers in the region.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist