Yahoo! leaves UK for Switzerland

14 Mar 2008

In a blow to the UK technology industry, Yahoo! has announced it will be uprooting its European headquarters from the current location in London and heading to Geneva, Switzerland in a move the company said would increase its competitiveness.

So far, Yahoo! said the move to Geneva will only affect 5pc of its European staff and that this change will happen over the next 18 months. However, it has been reported that 70 senior managers in the London office have been given 30 days to decide on whether to make the move to Geneva in order to keep their positions.

Yahoo! currently employs 400 people in Dublin and 700 in the UK but has not said how many job losses will result from the move or whether it will affect its Dublin offices. However, Yahoo! is far from the dominant search engine across Europe, taking in just 3pc of the market and lagging far behind web juggernaut Google.

Yahoo!’s decision to move is based on the ability to “increase competitiveness, deliver financial results, performance and efficiencies”, the company said in an official statement.

Yahoo! may be doing this as part of a series of cost-cutting measures aimed at fighting off a hostile takeover from software giant Microsoft, who publicly offered US$40bn for the company. However, the site for its new headquarters in western Switzerland was most likely scouted out last September.

In September 2007, Yahoo! signed a deal for land worth US$4.5m to build a data centre and provide more storage for its European expansion.

By Marie Boran