[Update: Here’s the official announcement from Dropbox.]
Dropbox, the San Francisco-based cloud storage and file sharing company, is planning to open a Seattle engineering office — becoming the latest in a series of California tech giants to expand to the Pacific Northwest, and adding to the Seattle region’s status as a major hub for cloud computing.
Aditya Agarwal, Dropbox vice president of engineering, disclosed the news in an interview with GeekWire this afternoon, saying that Seattle will be one of “three pillars” of the Dropbox engineering operations in the U.S., along with New York and San Francisco.
“We’re incredibly committed to this office,” said Agarwal of the Seattle plans. “The incredible density of talent in Seattle … means that this is going to be a big, long-term presence for us.
The move comes as Dropbox moves to build more services on top of its core cloud infrastructure, adding new functionality for users. Dropbox, founded in 2007 by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, recently surpassed 1,000 employees companywide.
Dropbox is slated to publicly announce plans for the new Seattle office on Thursday. It’s currently operating out of temporary space in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, starting with a small “landing team” led by Dan Wheeler, a Dropbox veteran (and Oregon native) who will head up the new Seattle engineering office.
The company isn’t saying how large it expects the Seattle office to become. Agarwal said the company hopes to find a permanent location as soon as possible.
Dropbox will be seeking engineers in Seattle in areas including back-end infrastructure, user interface and front-end engineering. More broadly, Agarwal said the company will be looking for hires who fit the Dropbox values — “smart, driven, but really most importantly, humble as well,” he said.
Dropbox’s move positions the company to compete against a wide variety of companies for engineering talent in the Seattle region — not just Seattle tech giants Amazon and Microsoft but also smaller startups and many Silicon Valley companies. Google, Facebook, Salesforce and most recently Apple are just a few of the tech companies to establish engineering offices in the Seattle region.
Interestingly, Dropbox is beating enterprise-focused cloud storage and collaboration company Box to the Seattle region, even though Box’s founders including CEO Aaron Levie grew up in Mercer Island, Wash.