Facebook sets up New York engineering shop

Facebook expands its engineering team to New York City

Facebook is expanding its operations in the Big Apple, announcing on Friday plans to open an engineering office in New York in 2012.

"We will hire as much talent as we can find," said Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg in a New York press conference, explaining that the company has no set limit on the number of engineers it will hire.

Facebook officials said they chose New York because of its growing technology talent pool.

"We realized that New York has a huge momentum of doing entrepreneurial engineering and deep technology," said Mike Schroepfer, Facebook's worldwide head of engineering. "This is not a satellite office. This will be a core part of our engineering stack that builds key features," he said.

The location will be Facebook's first engineering office off the West Coast. Last year, the company, based in Palo Alto, California, opened a second engineering office in Seattle.

For the time being, Facebook will house the engineers in its current New York location, which is staffed with about 100 marketing and recruiting employees. The company has 3,000 employees overall, and does not break out employee numbers by job type.

Facebook engineer manager Serkan Piantino will oversee the New York location. He managed the development of Facebook's News Feed and Timeline features. He currently oversees engineering behind Facebook Messages and Chat. The company has begun accepting job applications.

New York officials celebrated the news as an example of how the region is becoming a technology hotspot.

"This is the best place to recruit and retain the world's top talent," said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg during the press conference. "Facebook's decision to come to New York is conclusive proof that we're well on our way to achieving our goal to become the world's number-one hub for information technology and social media."

Charles Schumer, a U.S. senator from New York, noted that the region, not Silicon Valley, has the highest density of hi-tech expertise in the country, with more than 300,000 workers in the area.

"The fact a company like Facebook is locating engineers here says that we have turned the corner," Schumer said.

Founded in 2004, Facebook has more than 800 million users worldwide, according to the company.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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