Google's Top NYC Engineer on City's Tech Economy

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Craig Nevill-Manning

Craig Nevill-Manning is Google's chief engineer in New York City. In fact, saying he built the company's software engineering department in the city from scratch is no exaggeration. 

As Nevill-Manning tells it, he begged Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to let him move back to New York in 2003.

"They said, OK, let’s do an experiment," Nevill-Manning said. "Let's have you go out there, and if you can find more than 15 really great software engineers that we wouldn't have hired otherwise, you can stay."

At the time, memories of the dot-com bubble and bust of the late 1990s still hovered over New York's tech sector.

"Ten years ago, New York was a little bit in the dumps about technology," Nevill-Manning said. "People really did view it as something we tried in NYC and it didn’t pan out."

Things have changed. Google now employs 1,500 engineers in Manhattan in a massive building in Chelsea it purchased in 2010.