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IT giant Google to shut down Kraków office?

PR dla Zagranicy
John Beauchamp 03.03.2015 09:42
Reports have surfaced that Google is mulling the closure of its Kraków office following confirmation that the IT giant’s employees were given the option to move to Warsaw or to other Google offices.
Photo: cc/wikipediaPhoto: cc/wikipedia

However, as the regional edition of daily Gazeta Wyborcza reports, the move may mean that Google will close down its Kraków office altogether.

“We have proposed our employees in Kraków the possibility to move to a few other Google offices – including Warsaw […]. We are currently in the process of consultations,” Paweł Zalewski, Google Polska’s spokesman told the daily.

However, no reason was given for the move, with Zalewski stating that “[Google’s] presence and engagement in Poland remains without change”.

The move comes as a surprise for many, as Google had announced six months ago that it had plans to set up a new research centre by increasing floor space by as much as 5,000 square metres at its offices in Kraków’s centre.

The investment was to cost Google some PLN 30 million, and all the relevant planning permission paperwork had been filed with the city’s municipal authorities.

“There are over 100 engineers at our Kraków location and there is continuous recruitment, hence another floor will be put to use and the offices will be arranged differently,” Zalewski said back in 2014.

The owner of the building, Leszek Likus, was also pleased with the investment, saying previously that “Google’s presence in this site is a guarantee of prestige and development,” yet now he admitted that he had “no idea” about the plans.

“If they were to move, I’m sure that I would know about it,” Likus told Gazeta Wyborcza.

Kraków authorities are set to meet with Google representatives on Thursday, with the mayor’s digital advisor Paweł Węgrzyn telling the daily “evidently, [Google] doesn’t want to undertake any new investments in Kraków”.

One anonymous source working in Kraków’s IT sector told the daily that the possible reason for the move is Google’s reluctance to invest in a new site at a former tobacco factory on Dolnych Młynów street, which has stood empty for a number of years.

“Google bosses counted on Kraków’s great potential for the centre’s construction, yet now it seems that it may be simply be too expensive, hence the change of plan,” the source told the daily.

IT giant Google has been in Kraków since 2007, and also has offices in Warsaw and Wrocław. (jb)

tags: Google, Kraków
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