(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Mon, 4 Dec 2017) London, Uk – –
Facebook has opened a new office in London and pledged to hire 800 new staff in the UK over the next year.
The social media giant said the seven-storey building in central London, one of a number of offices it has opened in recent years, would make the capital its largest computer engineering base outside of the US.
In a first for the company, it is also promising to house technology start-ups in the new building, running an “incubator” designed to foster young companies.
Facebook, which has been criticised over its UK tax arrangements, has often highlighted its investment in staff. It opened its first office in London 10 years ago and will employ 2,300 in the UK by this time next year.
The 247,000 sq ft building in Rathbone Place, off Oxford Street, designed by Frank Gehry, the architect, will house developers and sales staff. Services developed in the UK include Workplace, its office communication tool, and part of Facebook’s Oculus virtual reality team.
The start-up incubator, called “LDN LAB”, will mark the first time that Facebook has housed start-ups in its offices. It will not take equity in the companies but a spokesman said it would share “expertise and mentorship” and that it would be looking for companies dedicated to Facebook’s mission of “building communities”, suggesting the lab could be a pre-cursor to acquisitions.
“Today’s announcements show that Facebook is more committed than ever to the UK and in supporting the growth of the country’s innovative start-ups,” said Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s vice-president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “This country has been a huge part of Facebook’s story over the past decade.”
The move is the latest commitment to the UK from a large Silicon Valley company. Google, Apple and Snap have all expanded in London since last year’s Brexit vote.
Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, said: “The UK is not only the best place to start a new business, it’s also the best place to grow one. It’s a sign of confidence in our country that innovative companies like Facebook invest here, and it’s terrific news that they will be hiring 800 more highly skilled workers next year.”