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Following the UK’s decision to leave the EU earlier this year, a number of US companies raised the price of their products as a result of the weakened pound. There were also fears that Brexit could harm foreign investment, but Google has helped alleviate these worries by announcing a new London HQ and the creation of 3000 jobs by 2020.
Currency fluctuations have seen Apple, HTC, and a host of other firms increase the price of their UK goods this year, but Sundar Pichai believes the country is still an attractive place to do business. Speaking to the BBC, the Google CEO said: "We see big opportunities here. This is a big commitment from us - we have some of the best talent in the world in the UK and to be able to build great products from here sets us up well for the long term."
Google’s investment, which will reach over $1 billion, will see a new building that’s 10-storeys high with 650,000 square feet of floorspace built near its Kings Cross offices. Google currently has around 4000 employees in the UK; a figure that could almost double to 7000 by the end of the decade.
The new site was first announced over three years ago, but founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin put the project on hold after they called the initial plans, by London-based architects AHMM, “too boring.” Google has been virtually silent on the subject up until now.
The revamped HQ has been designed by Thomas Heatherwick in collaboration with Danish architects Bjarke Ingels Group.
Pichai did warn that Brexit may have complicated “secondary effects” over the long term, but he didn’t go into specifics. He also added that the UK putting restrictions on the number of skilled migrants was a “worry.”