New centre headed up by Philip Su

Facebook opens London engineering office

Facebook has officially opened a new engineering office based in London.

The new centre, announced in July earlier this year, is its first major engineering branch outside of the US.

The team will be headed up by Facebook engineer Philip Su, who previously worked on the social network’s Skype integration at the company’s Seattle office.

Facebook said the first local recruits are currently undergoing an intensive six-week programme at the company’s Menlo Park headquarters, and will begin work in London later this month.

The social network outfit also stated that it was attracted by London’s “thriving community” of skilled developers, although it was keen to help boost the size of the local engineering talent pool through initiatives such as the Next Gen Skills campaign.

“It is fantastic that Facebook, one of the world’s leading technology companies, has chosen London as its first major engineering hub outside of the US,” said UK Chancellor George Osborne.

“This reflects the attractiveness of London, its culture, its infrastructure and its people, but also the hard work that the British Government has put in to make sure that the UK becomes the technology hub for Europe.

“No British Government has worked harder to place technology and innovation at the heart of its policy agenda and this announcement today is a reflection of that.”

Mayor of London Boris Johnson added: "London boasts a fantastic wealth of digital talent with an ever-expanding pool of young innovators and tech entrepreneurs. The arrival of Facebook’s new engineering team is a clear sign of confidence which underpins our city’s status as a world leading centre for digital businesses.

"Facebook’s investment is certainly a feather in London’s cap helping to create jobs and growth, so we are delighted to accept their ‘friend’ request."

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