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Facebook to Hire Thousands of Workers, Open New York Office

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg speaks as Sen. Charles Schumer listens during an event in New York on Friday. Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Facebook Inc., preparing for a potential initial public offering, plans to hire thousands of employees in the next year and add an engineering office in New York to lure technical talent.

The world’s largest social-networking company, with about 3,000 workers and more than 800 million users, will open the Facebook NYC engineering office in early 2012, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said at an event yesterday in the city. She gave no firm target for the engineering team in New York, the first outside the West Coast.

The “user base and revenue are growing very rapidly,” Sandberg said. “And that’s what we’re betting on.”

Facebook is looking to woo talent as bigger companies such as Google Inc. and Apple Inc. compete for the brightest minds. Earlier this month, Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg visited Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to recruit potential engineers.

Facebook is considering raising about $10 billion in an initial public offering that would value the company at more than $100 billion, a person with knowledge of the matter said this week. The Palo Alto, California-based company may file for the IPO before the end of the year, said the person.

Web startups including Foursquare Labs Inc. and Tumblr Inc. are based in New York.

Facebook currently has about 100 employees in the city, including in marketing and recruiting, Mike Schroepfer, vice president of engineering at Facebook, said at the event. Facebook will begin accepting applications for jobs in New York immediately, according to a statement.

“New York has a strong history of innovation and is home to thousands of talented technical people, and we want them to help us solve the challenges of designing and building the next generation of Facebook,” Schroepfer said in the statement.

Serkan Piantino, an engineering manager for teams that handle Facebook chat and messages, will lead the new office, the company said.

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