Dennis Woodside, Google's head of operations in the UK, Benelux and Ireland, has been promoted to head advertising sales in the US, Canada and Latin America.
A Google spokesman said the company would shortly provide details of how it would allocate Woodside's duties.
Woodside replaces Tim Armstrong, who last week took the job of chief executive of Time Warner's AOL.
Omid Kordestani, Google's senior vice-president of global sales and business development, said: "Ever since I met Dennis in 2003, I have been impressed by this combination of entrepreneurialism and operational excellence.
"He's never afraid to try new things and always ready to roll up his sleeves and pitch in."
From 2003 to 2006, Woodside launched the business operations group at Google and built up the company's presence in Central Europe, Russia, the Middle East and North Africa.
He established offices in 10 countries as diverse as Egypt, Turkey, Russia and Israel. He also started the company's inside sales operation in Europe.
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