Alibaba hiring in Amazon, Microsoft backyard as US cloud unit expands

Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:06am EDT
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By Paul Carsten and John Ruwitch

BEIJING, March 12 (Reuters) - China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, the world's largest e-commerce firm, has begun hunting staff in Seattle, home turf of Inc and Microsoft Corp, focusing on savvy cloud computing hires as it ramps up U.S. operations.

Three positions were open to people in Seattle, two of which also allow applications for Alibaba's Silicon Valley offices, according to advertisements on LinkedIn Corp's N> business networking site in the past week.

Several recruiters in the region said they had registered the firm's hiring drive, suggesting Alibaba is eyeing staff at rival Amazon as well as Microsoft and Facebook Inc.

According to LinkedIn's data, Alibaba has already hired staff away from Microsoft and Amazon. LinkedIn data list Microsoft as the top company from which former employees have joined Alibaba, not specifying the location of the hires, with 20 recruits for unspecified posts at the Chinese company having previously worked at the software giant.

With the job openings Alibaba joins the increasingly fierce fight for cloud computing talent in Silicon Valley and Seattle, where it opened a research and development centre in what is Microsoft and Amazon's backyard late last year.

The Chinese company's arrival on the tech job market is - for now - unlikely to pose a concern to major industry incumbents, who in past years have resorted to increasingly imaginative tactics to recruit scant human resources.

Alibaba's moves in the region are at an early stage, and the amount of hiring still comparatively low, said recruiters. The company has fewer than 300 employees in the United States.

But Alibaba is looking at Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook in the Seattle area for new blood, particularly developers, said Jerry Taylor, president of Executive Recruiters Inc in Bellevue, Washington.   Continued...