What the fierce AI talent war in Europe means for IT professionals as well as IT companies like Google an – The Times of India

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A surge of artificial intelligence (AI) startups is intensifying competition for skilled workers in Europe, forcing established players like Google DeepMind to offer hefty salaries or risk losing top talent, according to a report by Reuters.
Fueled by the success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, investors are pouring money into promising AI ventures, hoping to find the next big thing. This has led to an influx of foreign AI firms like Canada’s Cohere and US-based Anthropic and OpenAI setting up shop in Europe, further tightening the talent pool for existing tech companies. “The entrance of foreign AI giants such as Anthropic and Cohere into London’s market will further escalate the competition for AI talent,” said Charlie Fairbank, the firm’s managing director, as per the Reuter’s report.
London-based DeepMind, acquired by Google in 2014, is a prominent name in European AI, but now faces a wave of well-funded rivals and employee departures. DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman left to launch Inflection AI in California, while researcher Arthur Mensch became CEO of the hot startup Mistral AI. Both companies boast billion-dollar valuations despite being new players.
Stock options, 50% jump in salaries and more
In an attempt to retain staff, DeepMind reportedly offered senior researchers millions of dollars in restricted stock. A company spokesperson acknowledged to Reuters the competitive landscape but maintained they are still successful in attracting and developing talent.
The competition is driving up salaries for AI professionals. Executive search firm Avery Fairbank reports an “exponential increase” in C-suite pay at British AI companies over the past year. Executives previously earning around £350,000 are now seeing salary bumps of £50,000 to £100,000.
This talent war is benefiting skilled workers. London-based AI audio firm ElevenLabs offers new hires stock options, generous salaries, and remote work options (although most roles require being based in Europe). The company recently doubled its headcount to 100 after securing significant funding.
Trend goes beyond London
The trend extends beyond London. Paris-based startup Bioptimus, founded by ex-DeepMind employees, recently raised $35 million. Investors see startups offering former Big Tech employees more influence over a company’s direction as a way to attract talent.
With OpenAI opening offices in London and Dublin, and Cohere doubling its UK workforce, the battle for AI talent in Europe is only getting hotter. This talent war benefits workers with more leverage to negotiate and puts pressure on established players to adapt and offer competitive packages.

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