Facebook UK just released its accounts for the year ending December 2018. They reveal that the social media giant has been doing a lot of hiring as promised at its new office in London's Rathbone Place, but they suggest too that many of the new hires have arrived on lower pay grades than existing staff.
In 2018, Facebook hiked UK headcount from 1,290 at the start of the year to 1,965 at the end. 1,108 of Facebook's UK employees last year were engineers (up from 712 the year before); another 857 were marketing and support staff (up from 578).
Engineering headcount therefore rose 55% during the year; marketing and support headcount rose 48%. Facebook in the UK is growing, fast.
However, as the chart below shows Facebook seems to be paying its new staff less. In the past 12 months average total compensation for people working at the UK operation has fallen from £223k to £197k.
The fall is mostly accounted for by reduced pension contributions and lower 'share-based payments' (ie bonuses). Average salaries at Facebook UK actually increased from £112k to £117k.
As at banks, Facebook employees' stock payments only vest if they're actually working for FB at the vesting date. The accounts suggest that most FB employees stick around. Of nearly 2.8m restricted stock units outstanding last year, only 200k were forfeited (presumably as a result of employees moving on). Facebook's stock is currently trading at $180, so those 2.6m remaining stock units suggest London employees are currently sitting on unvested stock worth a total of $464m, or $236k (£188k) each.
Facebook still wants to hire in London. In June 2019, it said it will create another 500 technology jobs in the city this year, including 100 in artificial intelligence. Facebook's UK revenues were £797m in 2018 (£530m in 2017) and its net profits were £68k (£46k in 2017).
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