Facebook moving to sprawling Silicon Valley campus

Feb 08, 2011 by Glenn Chapman
Facebook CFO David Ebersman speaks during a news conference at the Menlo Park city council chambers in Menlo Park, California. Facebook on Tuesday announced plans to move its fast-growing operations to a sprawling Silicon Valley campus once home to Sun Microsystems.

Facebook on Tuesday announced plans to move its fast-growing operations to a sprawling Silicon Valley campus once home to Sun Microsystems.

Facebook, which turned seven years old this month, has seen its ranks of employees increase by about 50 percent annually and is already cramped in the space it moved into in the city of Palo Alto in early 2009.

The former Sun campus in the city of Menlo Park, which borders Palo Alto, has nine buildings with a total of a million square feet (92,900 square meters) of office space set on 57 acres (23 hectares) of land, according to Facebook director of real estate John Tenanes.

Facebook is also buying an adjacent 22-acre (8.9-hectare) lot from US car maker General Motors.

"We've been looking for a setting where we can plant some roots," Facebook chief financial officer David Ebersman said while unveiling the plan with city officials at Menlo Park City Hall.

"One of our priorities as we rebuild the campus will be to make it a fun place to be. We are in this for the long term," Ebersman said.

Facebook expected to begin moving employees to the new campus in June and intended to eventually have all of its workers there.

Facebook started this year with about 2,000 employees, two-thirds of whom live in the San Francisco Bay area and work at the online social networking star's headquarters.

A smattering of employees from Oracle, which bought Sun in a multi-billion-dollar deal completed last year, will be vacating the Sun campus to clear the way for Facebook.

Facebook did not disclose financial terms of the real estate deal but Ebersman said it has a 15-year lease on the former Sun property with an option to buy it after five years. Sun completed the campus in 1994.

The buildings will renovated to be more open, eliminating inner walls and cubicle spaces in keeping with a company culture of collaboration and interaction among employees, according to Tenanes.

"We have a very open work environment -- no cubicles or walls -- to maximize information interaction between employees; unexpected conversations and the free flow of ideas and energy," Ebersman said.

Facebook will also bring with it cherished sections of graffiti-covered walls cut-out of its initial headquarters in downtown Palo Alto as keepsakes when it left two years ago for a larger space in that city.

Facebook has maintained the tradition of personalizing walls with graffiti, but opted for removable panels in the current Palo Alto space.

Tenanes envisioned a long courtyard at the heart of the cluster of buildings being turned into a play on a European street scene where workers could exchange ideas in an outdoor social scene.

"The most important thing is to bring together motivated people to build products and services," Ebersman said.

The shift to nearby Menlo Park is less disruptive to current Facebook employees and keeps the company centrally located in Silicon Valley where it can "attract and retain talent," according to Ebersman.

Google, Apple, and Yahoo! are among the many technology firms with headquarters or offices located a short distance from Menlo Park.

Explore further: Why the Sony hack isn't big news in Japan

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Facebook holds inaugural 'Hackers Cup'

Dec 11, 2010

Facebook is challenging software hotshots around the world to show their mettle in the online social networking king's first "Hackers Cup."

Facebook says it passed key financial milestone

Sep 15, 2009

(AP) -- Facebook Inc. said Tuesday it achieved an important financial milestone, bringing in more money than it spent in the last quarter. The social networking site previously had said it didn't expect to ...

US videogame maker EA in deal with Facebook

Nov 02, 2010

Electronic Arts said Tuesday that it has reached a five-year agreement with Facebook that calls for the social network's virtual currency to be the exclusive payment method for EA games.

Recommended for you

Why the Sony hack isn't big news in Japan

5 hours ago

Japan's biggest newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, featured a story about Sony Corp. on its website Friday. It wasn't about hacking. It was about the company's struggling tablet business.

Sony faces 4th ex-employee lawsuit over hack

10 hours ago

A former director of technology for Sony Pictures Entertainment has sued the company over the data breach that resulted in the online posting of his private financial and personal information.

Sony tells AFP it still plans movie release

11 hours ago

Sony Pictures boss Michael Lynton denied Friday the Hollywood studio has "caved" by canceling the release of "The Interview," and said it still hoped to release the controversial film.

2012 movie massacre hung over 'Interview' decision

Dec 19, 2014

When a group claiming credit for the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment threated violence against theaters showing "The Interview" earlier this week, the fate of the movie's big-screen life was all but ...

Clooney slams skittish Hollywood after Sony hack

Dec 19, 2014

Film star George Clooney slammed the Hollywood movie industry for failing to stand up against the cyber threats that prompted Sony Pictures to cancel release of the movie "The Interview."

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.