Google will turn 17 years next September and the company has changed drastically since it was created by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in Menlo Park California. Today, the organization employs almost 60,000 people and beyond specializing in search engine solutions, diversifies in advertising, productivity tools, driver-less mobility and even life science.
Google has a workforce of around 1,500 employees from 75 different countries in Zurich who mostly work on products such as Google Maps, Google Calendar, YouTube or Gmail. The Internet giant also nurtures close relationships with the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) and Lausanne (EPFL) as well as with local start-ups. On August 10, Google announced plans to reorganize its various interests as a holding company, Alphabet Inc., with Google as its leading subsidiary. When asked about potential changes in the business strategy for Switzerland, Google spokesperson Matthias Meyer said the company planned to keep on developing its activities in the alpine country. Because Google needs more space to welcome new offices, about 50,000 square meters owned by SBB (Swiss Federal railway) and located close to Zurich main station will be rented until at least 2020. This is definitely an encouraging sign which illustrates the commitment of the California-based organization toward Switzerland.
Google is not the only global ICT actor capitalizing on Switzerland and its specific expertise related to this field. IBM, Microsoft, Siemens, HP and Cisco Systems, among others, also chose to have a strong presence on Swiss ground.
For more information about the ICT cluster in Switzerland, please refer to the Handbook for Investors (chapter Innovation and Technology).