Joanna Shields to lead Facebook's international assault

Facebook has been famously thin in terms of its international organisation. Visiting their London offices recently impressed upon me how few people they actually have in Europe. A few sales staff, a PR, receptionist etc. As far as I could tell, only the affable Christian Hernandez was doing anything in wider Europe, as Facebook’s international biz dev guy. So it’s not before time that it’s expanding its global sales organisation.

Joanna Shields has re-emerged after recently exiting from her role at AOL, as Faceboook’s new VP of Sales and Business Development for EMEA. Joanna was previously CEO of Bebo and President of People Platforms at AOL.

Joanna was also the person who got advertising agencies to buy into Bebo, thus triggering its sale to AOL. We are talking one persuasive person here.

Vice President EMEA at Facebook Blake Chandlee, who opened the London sales office, is now shifting over to lead a newly created role as Vice President of Sales for Emerging Markets focusing on Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

This is a smart move by Facebook. Having recently visited Turkey, where Facebook has a third of its global users (yes, really), I’d say Facebook’s next wave of growth is going to be in these emerging markets. Basically people are growing up in these countries not knowing ‘real’ email, just the email ‘address’ they have on a social profile, like Facebook.