Google founders visit Dublin today


6 Oct 2004

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Siliconrepublic.com has learned that the two founders of search engine giant Google – Larry Page and Sergey Brin – will be in Dublin today for the opening of Google’s EMEA headquarters on Barrow Street. Both Page and Brin, who established Google in a dorm room at Stanford University in 1998, shared US$4.35bn when Google floated on the New York Stock Exchange in August.

Siliconrepublic.com has also learned that Google is ahead of target in its job creation plans for Dublin. Last year the internet search giant chose Dublin as the site for its European headquarters with plans to create 200 jobs within three years. An informed industry source, however, informed siliconrepublic.com that the company already employs 150 people in sales, marketing, HR, legal and financial roles.

He said: “In terms of what’s happening here, a good number of the jobs are actually in Google’s AdWords division, mostly sales and marketing, which controls the sponsored search operation, with the remainder of the jobs covering human resources, legal and finance.”

Google will later today open its 60,000 sq ft European HQ at the Gasworks building in Barrow St in Dublin’s docklands area.

When the company floated on the New York Stock Exchange in August, Google sold 19.6 million shares at US$85 each in the biggest IPO so far by an internet company. On the first day shares ended trading at US$100, valuing the company at U$27.2bn and raking founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stakes at US$4.35bn. Trade range from a high of US$104.06 to a low of US$95.96.

The IPO also brought instant riches to hundreds of employees of a company that was dreamed up in a college dorm room in 1998 but soon became synonymous with internet searches.

About 1,000 of Google’s nearly 2,300 employees are now millionaires on paper, according to an analysis by Salary.com, which tracks employee compensation.

Google has evolved from a search engine to become one of the internet industry’s most critical online advertising plays through the introduction of ‘sponsored search’ techniques, pitching Google against its one time benefactor Yahoo!. Ironically, Yahoo!’s online advertising subsidiary Overture employs some 250 people in Dublin’s East Point Business Park.

Over the past year Google has been developing its content search services to tally in with the ‘sponsored search’ element of the online advertising business. As the purveyor of Adwords, Google has become Overture’s most formidable competitor in the ‘sponsored search’ space. After three steady years of marked decline the online advertising business is understood to be projecting major growth this year.

With both Microsoft’s MSN portal and Overture both operating in Ireland, a spokesman for Google said that the environment is perfect for such competition. “Competition is healthy, we wouldn’t be overly concerned. We’ve had a local Irish portal live for some two years now. Internationally, Google handles some 200 million search queries every day and our index covers some 4.2 billion webpages and around four billion documents.”

By John Kennedy

Pictured are Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin who will be in Dublin today to open the search engine’s European headquarters on Barrow Street.