Kim Stonehouse

Kim Stonehouse
Age: 31
Title: Industry development manager for automotive, Google
Big break: Joining the search giant in 2006 just as the auto industry adopted paid search ads

Kim Stonehouse's rise in the ranks of Google's automotive practice prompted the former college track star and her husband to move to the Detroit area from New York last summer.

Stonehouse and her Google colleagues sell advertising and other products to automakers and dealers, while helping them shape strategies to more effectively use the world's dominant search engine.

The automakers are quickly stepping up their digital marketing efforts -- and with good reason. More than 90 percent of car shoppers do some or all of their research and shopping online.

And entities such as Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group and Scion have begun subsidizing dealer paid-search advertising on Google given that two of every three visitors to a dealership Web site get there directly from clicking on a link appearing on a Google search.

Stonehouse said that when she joined Google in 2006, automakers were just discovering how paid search ads could reach shoppers. Early on, she handled the sales account for European automakers and General Motors. Now she has responsibility for the entire sector.

Stonehouse is on a fast track and has been since entering college.

She was an Academic All-American track athlete at the University of Pennsylvania. And she plans to return to triathlon competition in June after taking a few months off after the birth of her first child, a son.

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