Google hires first engineering chief for Europe

Google has appointed its first ever Vice President of Engineering in Europe, in a move which could herald new local products from the search giant.

Nelson Mattos (Ph.D.) will oversee Europe, the Middle East and Africa, in a sign that Google is increasingly interested in concentrating its management talent in high growth areas, like Europe, for its products.
In a statement Alan Eustace, Senior Vice President Technology and Research at Google, hinted that the move to hire a dedicated VP of engineering for Europe presages a hiring and launch spree for the search giant across the continent: “Given the enormous computer science talent available in these countries there’s great potential to develop new products locally which can help improve people’s lives everywhere.”

Nelson Mattos practically said ‘we’ll launch more local Google products’ when he said: “I am excited about the opportunity of using the great brains we have here to develop product in the region not just for EMEA but the rest of the world too.” Mattos will be based at Google’s office in Zurich, Switzerland. Prior to joining Google, he worked in various capacities at IBM for 15 years.

Mattos is almost certain to be involved in any moves Google makes on its rumoured mobile phone project. Mobile is a big focus for Google in Europe for obvious reasons. In March this year Google’s Spanish CEO Isabel Aguilera let slip that Google engineers have been working on designs for a mobile phone. Then in May Google hired UK mobile veteran Robert Hamilton to be product manager on one or more undefined mobile services, working out of London. And let’s not forget that Nikesh Arora, Vice President, European Operations, joined from T-Mobile, where he was responsible for all product development, terminals, brand and marketing activities.

Google currently has 12 research and development centers in the region. These are located in London (UK), Aarhus (Denmark), Trondheim (Norway), Lulea (Sweden), Krakaw (Poland), Moscow and St. Petersburg (Russia), Haifa and Tel Aviv (Israel), Zurich (Switzerland), Dublin (Ireland) and Munich (Germany). It employs around 2,500 people across all its operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.