Google plans to use its European operations to increase its workforce by as much as a third, according to reports.
In an interview with the Financial Times, the company's new head of engineering in Europe, Nelson Mattos, said it was his goal to make Google's European operations equivalent in size to its US operations through the hiring of several thousand engineers.
"We are not seen correctly in Europe. My impression is that Google is seen as a big US company that is here to make money," Mattos is quoted as saying. "I aim to grow the EMEA engineering team as big as the one in North America. This is why I joined."
According to estimates, roughly 500 out of a total of 7,000 Google employees are in Europe, although the company is notoriously private about the size of its workforce.
A spokesperson for Google refused to "give out specific numbers", but confirmed that the company was "hiring more engineers in Europe because there is great talent there".
Google has frequently complained about US immigration policy, which it says is limiting the number of talented engineers it can employ in the US.
The company is currently on a major drive to expand beyond its roots as a search giant, and it is developing numerous web applications to take on Microsoft and others in the desktop and office-productivity space.
However, it is also a possible candidate for an antitrust probe by the European Commission, which has been buoyed by its recent victory over Microsoft.