Tuesday 6 December 2016

Facebook shrugs off Brexit risks by adding 500 new roles in London

Published 22/11/2016 | 02:30

Facebook said the decision to expand in the UK did not mean a shift away from Ireland.
Facebook said the decision to expand in the UK did not mean a shift away from Ireland.

Social media giant Facebook is to join Google in shrugging off Brexit worries by adding jobs in the UK.

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The California-based firm is increasing its UK headcount by 50pc to 1,500, the same number it employs here. The company also plans to move to a new London HQ in 2017.

It is a boost to UK confidence, still reeling from the Brexit vote in June.

Facebook said the decision to expand in the UK did not mean a shift away from Ireland.

"Facebook continues to invest in Ireland as the location for its international headquarters which employs over 1,500 people. Earlier this year Facebook began construction of a new data centre in Clonee, Co. Meath and announced a new location in Cork dedicated to Oculus Research."

Facebook's vice president for the EMEA region Nicola Mendelsohn said the majority of new UK roles would be high-skilled engineering jobs.

"The UK remains one of the best places to be a tech company and is an important part of Facebook's story," she said.

At a speech yesterday given to the annual conference of the Confederation of British Industry, a lobby group, Mendelsohn also said the UK needs to avoid shutting itself off to the global economy due to competition from rival tech hubs such as Berlin and Tel Aviv. She said the movement of talent across European borders is "very important" to the company.

"We need to make sure we continue to look outward and not inward," Mendelsohn said. "We need to stay competitive."

The announcement extends a recent string of similar promises made by major US tech companies regarding their plans in the UK. Last week Google cemented plans that it would expand in the UK, saying it will go ahead with plans to complete a new London office that can hold as many as 7,000 workers - 3,000 more than a spokesman said it currently employs in the UK.

(Additional reporting Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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