It was supposed to be off the record, but Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg decided to share during a meeting with a few reporters Wednesday night and agreed to talk openly about the company’s Seattle engineering office.
His extensive answers to a few questions also provided insights into the remarkably successful company’s internal culture and hiring strategy.
Zuckerberg is making one of his periodic visits to the Seattle office – its first real satellite development center, which has grown to about 40 people since it opened last summer.
The office is an open space on the upper floor of a tower overlooking Elliott Bay. On Wednesday a bunch of desks were pushed aside and chairs set up to create a sort of meeting room, in which Zuckerberg was speaking to a group of potential employees.
But first he spent a half-hour with a handful of reporters, letting a slice of Pagliacci’s Margherita pizza go cold on his plate, while we talked.
He declined to specify how much the Seattle office will grow but he said Facebook is growing its engineering team by about 60 percent a year.
It could grow faster but Zuckerberg doesn’t want it to grow so fast that it overwhelms the company’s culture.