Internet firm to create over 200 jobs in Dublin


Internet marketing giant Overture said this morning it will create more than 200 jobs in Dublin over the next five years.

Overture operates search engines which allow advertisers to appear on search results for Internet service providers including AOL Europe, Wanadoo, Freeserve and Lycos.

A new Dublin base is expected to employ a multinational workforce of nearly 100 editors and customer service representatives by the end of the year, with an addtional 100 jobs created within five years.

The Dublin centre, which will also be its European headquarters, located at East Point Business Park, will include a multi-lingual customer support centre and a financial shared services centre.

Overture expects to increase its European sales significantly in the coming years with the Dublin centre playing a key role in the expansion.

Overture has been hosting its European search services from a separate data centre in Dublin for the past two years, on an outsource basis. The data centre also acts as a backup to the US serving infrastructure if required.

Mr Nick Hynes, president and managing director of Overture Europe, said the news underlined the company's plans for Europe and highlighted the company's commitment to the rapidly growing European market.

At the Dublin Search Services Centre about 70 per cent of the employees will work in content editing, where they will ensure that sponsored listings are relevant to the search terms (keywords) chosen by the advertiser.

Employees will require near-native capability in a range of foreign languages, as well as analytical skills.

The balance of employees will be engaged in multi-lingual customer support and accounting functions. These services are currently provided from the company's headquarters in California and from its European sales offices.

Overture is on track to reach $1 billion in revenue in 2003. With the planned acquisitions of AltaVista and the Web search unit of Fast Search & Transfer in February, Overture said it would expand into other forms of Web search, such as algorithmic and paid inclusion.

ICT Ireland, the representative body for the Irish high- tech sector, said the announcement underlined Ireland's continued desireability as a IT location.

Director, Mr Brendan Butler, said it showed that Ireland remains a favourable location of choice for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) despite increasing competition from emerging economies.

"Taken in conjunction with the recent announcement by Google it is clear that Ireland is now positioning itself as a major world player in search engine service companies," he said.