Social networking behemoth Facebook has opened an advertising sales office in Sydney, appointing Paul Borrud as its regional vice president for Australia and New Zealand.

Borrud will lead the operations and build the company’s advertising sales presence in the two countries, aiming at investing in the local market as a strategic way to strengthen its commitment to the region and build on the momentum being generated by advertisers looking to engage more with prospects and customers.

“With its strong user growth and sophisticated digital marketing community, we expect Australia to play a significant role in our global sales strategy. Paul will bring a wealth of experience to this role as he is familiar with our unique value proposition and has experience helping advertisers engage customers on Facebook,” comments Mike Murphy, Facebook’s vice president of global sales.

Borrud was previously responsible for Facebook’s West Coast sales in the US and prior to Facebook, worked at Yahoo! as director of national sales for the Western Region and managed sales process, implementation, and operations.

“We’re excited by having Facebook on the ground here in Australia. The combination of its mass penetration of the Australian online audience, along with strong user engagement on the site, represents a real opportunity in how we address advertising in this market,” says Callum O’Brien, digital director at Sydney-based digital agency New Dialogue.