Facebook Hires Veteran Sales Executive Joanna Shields, Targeting Europe, Middle East and Africa Markets

Facebook has hired another advertising sales executive with Google experience to help it expand abroad, the company announced today: Joanna Shields, most recently known in Silicon Valley for helping to lead rival social network to a $850 million sale to AOL. She’d helped launch a London-based media startup called Shine last fall, and will continue on there as non-executive chairman.

Shields will be in charge of sales and business development for Facebook in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the same area she once managed for Google. Facebook has around 150 million Facebook users in it, according to our Facebook Global Monitor report from last month, with 130 million monthly active users in Europe, another 9 million in the Middle East and nearly 10 million across Africa.

Facebook has many offices across Europe, focused on local sales and customer service support. Locations include London, Dublin, Stockholm, Hamburg, Milan, Madrid and Paris — although they are mostly small, from our understanding. We don’t know of any Facebook offices in Africa or the Middle East, although the company recently cut an ad-sales partnership with a company that serves the latter region, called Connect Ads.

The official statement from Facebook vice president of global sales, Mike Murphy:

Continuing to deepen our global sales capabilities is important for Facebook, and a reflection of the growing demand we are seeing from advertisers around the world. Joanna Shields brings tremendous experience to the company and will help us continue to expand the success we have seen with advertisers and partners in Europe. Blake Chandlee, who has been instrumental in building our efforts in Europe to date, will take on the new role of driving our sales strategy in Asia-Pacific, Latin America and other growth regions, as we look to grow our global support of the marketing community.

The company also tells us that Chandlee will continue to work in the Middle East and Africa.