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Tuesday, 08 October 2013 12:42

Google Australia boss says NBN debate flawed Featured

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New Google Australia boss Maile Carnegie New Google Australia boss Maile Carnegie

The new Aussie head of Google Maile Carnegie has given her first interview after taking up the role, venting frustration at the NBN debate and outlining Google's priorities as it attempts a closer relationship with the new government.

Carnegie, who has strong experience in marketing but not technology, took the reins in July and told the Sydney Morning Herald her company wanted to change the way people talked about the nation's biggest infrastructure project.

''I look at the energy around the NBN," she said. "At the moment, it's focused around cost. I'd love to talk about the benefits and how we can change the rhetoric, from cost to disruption.

"It feels like we could be on the cusp of renewal but I'm frustrated that we're not recognising the benefits.''

"The opportunity the internet brings to Australia... we're an island of incredibly talented people, we should be driving to export our ideas as a way to transform our economy. It should be our next boom", she said.

Google has also faced some criticism in the past for the way it handles its tax responsibilities, but Carnegie used the interview to clear up any misconceptions.

''We comply with tax laws in Australia and paid over $2.5 billion in corporation tax globally last year, with an effective global corporate tax rate of almost 20%.''

She also said she wanted a close relationship with the federal government, confirming she had made contact with the new Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull since the election.

''We've had a good relationship with the Liberals and I'm sure that will continue.," she said.

Carnegie pointed to similarities between Google and her previous company Proctor & Gamble Australia as a sign she'd succeed in the new role.

''There are some very stark similarities in terms of what fundamentally underpins both organisations ... their reason for being is to improve the lives of the world's consumers. They want to do it in small but meaningful ways, they both talk about our employees being our most important asset and innovation being the lifeblood of our companies.

''I agree that how they execute against those principles is very different. There's no doubt Google executes with a lot greater speed, a greater willingness to delegate authority and responsibility, and they pride themselves on you not needing to wear a suit to be taken seriously,'' she said.


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