Google loses Europe COO Ben Legg to European Directories

European Directories has announced a big win this morning with the appointment of Ben Legg as Chief Operating Officer.

Legg joins the Dutch/British company from Google, one of its main competitors, where the man served as COO Europe since January this year and as Director of Operations in the two years before that.

European Directories, which provides local search and lead-generation products in eight European markets including The Netherlands, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland says Legg will assume direct responsibility for three of the company’s country operations.

He will also head unnamed ‘group-wide initiatives’ that will be launched to transform the traditionally print-based directory business to a multi-media lead generation venture.

He’ll be working from European Directories’ London offices in Chiswick Park.

European Directories says it currently provides more than 700,000 SME customers with a range of solutions to their local advertising needs. In total, the company now employs 4,700 staff.

Earlier this month, the company announced a strategic partnership with Skype which will offer customers free calls to its participating advertisers. On-line advertisers will have the opportunity to be highlighted with Skype’s blue “Free Call” button anywhere their number appears on the internet.