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Google hires prominent EBay engineer

AltaVista founder joins tech group

Google Inc., the most-used Internet search engine, has hired Louis Monier, a prominent EBay Inc. engineer and founder of the AltaVista search engine, in the latest sign of Google's efforts to attract talent to compete with Yahoo Inc.

Monier said in a phone interview yesterday that he left his job as director of EBay's advanced technology group last week and will start work at Google next week.

Google's hiring of Monier, a native of France who worked in the 1980s at Xerox Corp.'s Palo Alto Research Center in California, underscores the company's push to hire prominent engineers to develop new products. Mountain View, Calif.-based Google in March hired Mark Lucovsky, one of the creators of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT operating system.

''It's definitely a real plus for Google," said Danny Sullivan, editor of SearchEngineWatch.com, which tracks the industry. ''There just seem to be so many people that are pulled in" by the company.

Google shares rose 41 cents to $289.71 at 4 p.m. in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading. They have more than tripled since the company sold shares to the public in August.

EBay spokesman Hani Durzy confirmed that Monier has left the company. Google spokesman David Krane said Monier will join Google's technology group.

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