The UK business was launched out of a small office in Canary Wharf, London. That area is more known to be one of the key centres for global finance than a tech start-up hot bed, but it served the company well in two years from March 2006 to the beginning of 2008. I never visited that first office because I didn’t sign up with Just-Eat until March 2008, so in my memory Just-Eat UK will always be our Edgware office, North London. When the internationalisation gained momentum in 2008, we also needed to build up more centrally located staff, and since UK was our key future market, and London provides access to a lot of talent, then Just-Eat Group HQ also became our Edgware office. Therefore, I have for almost 3 years spend most of my working life in Edgware. But that is changing now.
We have decided to split our London office up in two. UK operations and some central functions (e.g. Finance & Accounting and most of central Marketing) will stay in Edgware, but me, the international team, etc. will join Tech & Product which since June 2010 has been based in Farringdon, City of London. In effect this means that Group HQ is now in Farringdon. 5 of the partners/exec’s will be based in Farringdon, 2 will be split 50/50 between Edgware and Farringdon, and one (UK MD) will be mainly in Edgware. It sounds a bit complicated, but given the way we are organised, how much we grow, rental costs in London and a bigger need for some of us to be close to agencies, bankers and collaboration partners in London, then it is the best model.
Key challenge when splitting offices is of course to maintain a close relationship, and secure that sub-cultues are still part of the overall Just-Eat Jam, but that is no different from what we already is dealing with, as we grow our company internationally and have offices thousands of kilometers apart.
So, how complicated is to move the office of the CEO of Just-Eat? This picture says it all:
I grabbed my computer, a couple of bags, our world domination map and then it was off in a taxi. At Just-Eat we prefer to travel light.