Outgoing CEO Eric Schmidt said at the DLD web conference in Munich that the company would make more than 1,000 new hires across Europe – including hundreds of specialists for its research and development centre in the Bavarian capital.
“We had a very, very good year,” Schmidt said. “Which is why we’ll continue to make investments.”
He said Google would focus on the growing mobile internet market, with sales of smartphones expected to trump PCs in the next two years. Schmidt said faster wireless standards such as LTE would greatly improve the web-surfing experience of the next generation of devices.
“It’s interesting that Germany has a leading role in the introduction of the LTE in Europe,” he said.
Google has not always had an easy time operating in Germany, which has notoriously tough data protection laws.
Besides regularly clashing with the country’s officials on privacy issues, Google has also had difficulty winning over the sceptical German public. Hundreds of thousands of people opted out of Google’s Street View online mapping service, demanding their residences be made unrecognizable on the internet.
The 55-year-old Schmidt last week made the surprise announcement he would step down as CEO in order to head Google supervisory board. He will be replaced by his predecessor – Google founder Larry Page.