Digital marketing vets nowadays have an amorous eye for Facebook. The social site has hired Google’s top Latin American executive, Alexandre Hohagen, to be its VP of sales for the region.
Facebook last week quietly issued a news release in Brazil to mark the development. Hohagen (pictured) started working on Tuesday in the South American country, where he will be charged with expanding Facebook’s Brazilian audience while cutting into the regionally popular social site Orkut’s share. The latest comScore data shows Facebook has 12.4 million Brazilian users to Orkut’s 32.7 million.
“Millions of people in Latin America are using Facebook daily to connect and share with their friends and families, which is an integral part of the Latin American culture,” Hohagen said in a prepared release sent to ClickZ. “Facebook’s sales team for Latin America will be able to help companies here navigate this unprecedented reach and engagement to create campaigns that will impact their businesses in meaningful ways.”
Hohagen’s six-year tenure with Google includes establishing the search giant’s Latin American offices in 2005. He’s held the positions of Google Brazil general manager and managing director of Google Latin America. From 2003 to 2005, Hohagen was cable TV powerhouse HBO’s general manager for Brazil.
Meanwhile, when it comes to personnel battles in the past two years, Facebook has been getting the best of online rivals like Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. Last week, Facebook recruited Microsoft global advertising exec Carolyn Everson after an eight-month stint with the 35-year-old technology giant. She is now Facebook’s VP of global sales.
Paul Adams, a senior user experience researcher at Google, left for Facebook in December 2010, while Google Android senior product manager Erick Tseng made the same move last May. In 2009, Dan Foehner, then Yahoo’s VP of sales operations, left to become Facebook’s direct sales operations manager.