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Yahoo to close its Lake Geneva offices in 2014

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Yahoo to close its Lake Geneva offices in 2014
Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America/AFP
22:11 CEST+02:00
Less than five years after moving its European headquarters to Switzerland from the UK, Yahoo is relocating the operations back to London and Ireland, the American internet company confirmed on Thursday.

Judith Sterl, a spokesman for the company, is quoted as saying in Swiss media that the company will be shuttering its offices in Rolle, a community in the canton of Vaud, in early 2014.

The operations will be transferred to the company’s offices in London and Ireland, Sterl said.

“That will allow us to concentrate our energy in fewer places.”

Sterl said the company hoped to transfer employees in the next few months and that the definitive closure of the site in Rolle, 30 kilometres northeast of Geneva, would be made in the first half of 2014, following consultations with employees in Switzerland.

Around 30 employees are reportedly affected by the move.

In April, Yahoo, based in Sunnyvale, California, announced an expansion of its operations centre in Dublin, where it hired an additional 200 employees.

L’Hebdo, the weekly Swiss magazine, reported on Thursday of Yahoo’s plans to decamp from the Lake Geneva region.

When Yahoo in 2007 announced plans to open its offices in Rolle it said that it expected to employ 350 people at the site within five years.

The decision was seen as a coup for the canton of Vaud's economic development office, which lured the company to the town overlooking Lake Geneva with tax breaks.

The following year, Yahoo announced that it was shifting its European headquarters from London to Rolle.

However, later in 2008 the company was forced to lay off workers globally because of the global economic downturn and the planned Swiss expansion never occurred.

Seventy employees were transferred from London to Rolle in 2009.

The company fended off a hostile bid from Microsoft and endured top management shakeups while the number of staff shrunk at the Swiss site.

Subsequently, the company under CEO and President Marissa Mayer, a former Google executive, has rebounded but Ireland has attracted more attention for its European operations than Switzerland. 

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