TechNation / Facebook to Hire 40 for New Tel Aviv Office

Utility deluged by hackers during war; Comverse workforce in Israel unionizes.

Tomer Appelbaum

Facebook to hire 40 as it opens Israel office

Facebook inaugurated its Israel office in Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard on Sunday and said it would be adding some 40 new employees to its local staff. Of the 40, 25 to 30 will be hired for research and development jobs and the rest in advertising, helping to serve an Israeli market of approximately 4 million users. Adi Sofer-Te’eni, Facebook Israel’s CEO, said the 4 million Facebook users in Israel represent 70% of all the country’s Internet users. Some 3.5 million use Facebook on mobile devices and 3 million go to Facebook on average 15 times a day. She said Israel is an important market despite being small. “Facebook is a company that moves fast, breaks barriers and doesn’t fear making mistakes or failing. These things characterize the Israeli market and society and the people here.” (Inbal Orpaz)

Utility deluged by hackers during war

Israel Electric Corporation, the country’s electric-power monopoly, became the target of sustained hacker attacks during Operation Protective Edge last summer, the utility said Monday ahead of the Cybertech 2015 conference this week. Hackers, presumed to be from enemy states, launched attacks on other infrastructure companies as well, but IEC was a favorite: Attacks that most of last year typically ranged between 183,000 and 293,000 a day soared to 865,000 during July and August as the fighting was on. They averaged 36,000 attacks every hour, said IEC Chairman Yiftah Ron-Tal. (Amitai Ziv)

Comverse workforce in Israel unionizes

At least a third of the staff at Comverse, the telecom business software company whose headquarters are in Ra’anana, have reportedly voted to join the Histadrut labor federation, making it the third Israeli high-tech company to become unionized after Ness Technologies and SAP. The move comes as the once high-flying company has sharply downsized, with its Israel payroll alone dropping from a peak of 3,000 to 750, with 200 let go last October. Histadrut Chairman Avi Nissenkorn called on Comverse management to begin negotiations with a newly formed workers’ committee to reach a collective employment agreement. (Haim Bior)