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LinkedIn is opening a London office to expand in to Europe, and appointing former Alta Vista international GM Kevin Eyres as its continental MD. The California-based professional network said it has over five million users in Europe and one million in the UK, its biggest user base outside the US – but Hamburg-based rival Xing is enjoying growing local traction. LinkedIn is now hiring sales staff and a marketing director on these shores. Eyres had previously been European MD for travel site SideStep as well as in the Alta Vista post. Since July, he had been chairman of London listings site Spoonfed.
Xing is available in 16 languages and has over four million members. Eyres told Reuters LinkedIn localisations are “well underway” and scotched talk of an upcoming IPO: “It’s not on our roadmap. It’s not on our radar — 2009, 2010, it’s somewhere on the horizon out in that time.” Founder Reid Hoffman said going public is “the most likely outcome”, despite admitting having held talks about selling the business.