EBay has tasked Kevin Hurst with getting the word out that it’s aggressively hiring in Portland.
As part of the announcement, Hurst, who was eBay’s former VP of mobile product, will become the office’s general manager.
It’s been known for some time that eBay had leased additional office space in Portland, but in an interview this morning, Hurst told GeekWire how many people are currently working there and how fast it plans to grow.
The San Jose, Calif.-based e-commerce giant first opened an office there in 2010 after acquiring Critical Path Software. Since then, it has grown it to 200 employees. The office specializes in developing eBay’s shopping applications for the different mobile platforms, including Android and iPhone.
“We are the best kept secret in the Portland market,” he said. “We need to let people know we are here — that we are a Silicon Valley-based company and the work you do here is cutting edge from a tech perspective.”
Up until recently, eBay had been leasing three floors in downtown not far from the waterfront. It is now leasing two additional floors for a total of 70,000 square feet. One of the new floors is being built to accommodate 122 employees, and the other will act as a community space used to host tech gatherings and internal meetings.
Hurst said they plan to hire artists to decorate the walls with murals, and outfit a stage with instruments, so that employees from some of the in-house bands can play music when taking a break. The company culture is heavily focused on music, he added, explaining that employees wear shirts from their favorite bands on “heavy-metal Fridays.”
The Portland office has been hiring about 35 people a year, and currently has 20 active job openings. Hurst said the additional space will mean it can hire even more aggressively, as the company needs.
Hurst started working at eBay three years ago, moving from Portland to San Jose to work there. Eight months into the job, he relocated back to Portland, where his wife had stayed. No one will be replacing his previous job as VP of mobile product because of a broader change happening at eBay.
Hurst explained that previously the company treated mobile as a separate group, but going forward all development will be built with multiple screens in mind. In the past, he said having mobile as a separate silo created some communication problems, but with this announcement things will be changing.
“That’s what we are rectifying with this announcement,” he said, adding that the VP of design and a handful of engineering managers have already visited Portland in the past week to better understand how mobile works. “It’s changing for the better.”
Separately, eBay named Peter Mansour as the general manager of the Seattle office, replacing Ken Moss who recently left to be chief technology officer of Electronic Arts. Mansour has been with eBay for two years, and was with Microsoft before that.