Facebook Inc. is poised to increase its UK headcount by a whopping 50 percent, hiring 500 new staff in a significant move to back the UK capital as an important, thriving technology hub. The social media company is all set to move to a new London headquarters in 2017, and from there, plans to exponentially increase its numbers from 1,000 to 1,500, according to a statement by the company on Monday.
Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s vice president for the EMEA region, said,
Many of those new roles will be high-skilled engineering jobs. The U.K. remains one of the best places to be a tech company and is an important part of Facebook’s story.
At a speech on Monday given to the annual conference of the Confederation of British Industry, a lobby group, Mendelsohn also mentioned that the U.K. needs to avoid shutting itself off to the global economy due to competition from rival tech hubs such as Berlin and Tel Aviv. She further went on to say that the movement of talent across European borders is “very important” to the company. She continued,
We need to make sure we continue to look outward and not inward. We need to stay competitive.
The announcement follows a recent stream of similar promises made by leading U.S. tech companies as to their plans in the UK. Just last week, Google cemented plans that it would expand in the UK, and also said that it will go ahead with plans to complete a new London office that can hold numbers to the tune of 7,000 workers, which is 3,000 more than a spokesman said it currently employs in the U.K.
Back in September, Apple Inc. announced its plans to lease about 500,000 square feet (46,451 square meters) of office space at Battersea Power Station on the south bank of London’s River Thames.
Facebook, arriving in London in 2007, is now making the UK home to its largest engineering base outside of the US. Its workplace offering, which allows employees to collaborate with each another on products, was developed in the UK capital. In the statement made on Monday, Facebook noted the breadth of nationalities — over 65 — that it employed in London.