Adaire Fox-Martin: From teacher to Google Cloud President

For this month’s trailblazer, we feature Adaire Fox-Martin, the recently-appointed President of Google Cloud International

At the start of this year, Google promoted the former head of its international cloud business to the role of President of Google Cloud International. 

Now in the company’s leading sales job, Adaire Fox-Martin comes equipped with over 25 years of experience at the forefront of the business-technology sector. 

Prior to taking on this leadership role at the global tech giant, Fox-Martin led Google's EMEA region, served on the Executive Board of SAP SE, and held a number of key leadership roles at Oracle.

From secondary school teacher to President (of Google Cloud)

Few careers are as inspiring as Fox-Martin’s. She holds a leading role at one of the most influential companies in the entire world and has an array of awards to her name – including being named as one of Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women of Our Times. 

What makes her success all the more impressive, however, is the fact that she actually started her career as a secondary school teacher. 

After graduating from Trinity College in Dublin, Fox-Martin moved to London in the 80s, where she taught for three years.

“Somebody saw something in me that maybe I didn’t see in myself. They took a risk on me; I was a high-risk profile for that transition”

Adaire Fox-Martin, President of Google Cloud International

“I learned a lot in that classroom,” said Fox-Martin, in an interview with The Irish Times. “Suddenly, you’re in charge of 30 individuals – and it’s the only job in the world where you’re almost an immediate CEO of 30 people, and your role is to keep them engaged while imparting knowledge.”

After three years of teaching, she applied for an IT company that was conducting an experiment, so was looking to hire teachers.

“Somebody saw something in me that maybe I didn’t see in myself. They took a risk on me; I was a high-risk profile for that transition,” Fox-Martin explained.

“The person who interviewed me told me they had a notebook of interviews and that most of the people in that book had all of the product knowledge, the technical knowledge, the skills, but she gave me the job. And she gave it to me because she felt there was an attitude, an aptitude, and a willingness and a desire for the role – that I probably wanted it more than the others.”

Adaire Fox-Martin, President of Google Cloud International

And the rest, then, is history. 

“Ever since I founded One Billion Lives platform at SAP, it has been my dream to drive social impact directly through our core business”

Social Enterprise and One Billion Lives

As the President of Google Cloud International, Fox-Martin has had an immeasurable impact in the cloud adoption of the world’s businesses. But her influence in the tech industry doesn’t end there. 

Fox-Martin is also renowned for her extensive social entrepreneurship work. 

In addition to being the Global Executive Sponsor for Google’s Social Enterprise, she also serves as the Global Buy-Social Ambassador for Social Enterprise UK. 

What’s more, Fox-Martin is also the Founder of One Billion Lives. This pioneering initiative helps organisations across the world build and develop impactful social ventures, driven by its ultimate aim of improving the lives of over a billion people.

“Ever since I founded the One Billion Lives platform at SAP, it has been my dream to drive social impact directly through our core business. By supporting social enterprises, we are one massive step closer to making that vision possible,” Fox-Martin explained in a recent tweet.


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