Googletown: Tech giant’s Dublin docklands expansion brings 400 jobs

Google is on track to become Dublin’s largest private industrial employer with fresh plans to add 400 new jobs in the capital.

This would bring Google’s employment in the capital to over 6,500 people with little sign of its expansion easing up.

The move comes as the web giant closes in on another new office building in Dublin’s tech-centric docklands. Sources close to Google said the company is in talks to rent the newly-constructed Velasco building, a 51,000 sq ft block close to the company’s European headquarters in the Grand Canal region of Dublin 2.

While an agreement has not yet been signed, Google is favourite to take over the property, according to the source.
A spokeswoman for Google declined to comment.

The Velasco building, which is owned by Irish Life Investment Managers, is still under construction.

At present, Google employs over 6,000 people through a combination of 3,000 permanent staff and 3,000 contractors. According to recently filed accounts, the vast majority of its staff (1,972) are in sales and marketing, with 397 in engineering and operations and 455 in administration and other activities.

Google’s revenues and profits have continued to rise in recent years, thanks to its domination of online advertising. Over half of the world’s online ad revenue is carved up between Google and Facebook, with that proportion expected to rise again this year.
In its most recent accounts, the company’s vice president and outgoing site lead in Ireland, Ronan Harris, said the continued global expansion of the company’s products, its advertiser and user base, as well as an increase in the number of Google Network Members, had contributed to the company’s overall growth in Ireland.

“Our operations in Dublin are contributing to our global success through our work with advertisers, publishers and users across EMEA,” he said.
“Dublin is recognised as a key driver of growth among our customers and we are constantly innovating to help them grow stronger and better businesses.”

Mr Harris was recently appointed as the new managing director for Google in the UK and Ireland and is relocating to London. He has been succeeded as head of site at Google’s Dublin-based office facility by Fionnuala Meehan, a vice president in Google with responsibility for marketing solutions in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“As Google grows, Ireland continues to benefit,” said Mr Harris. “In 2015, we opened our second data centre, bringing total investment in capital assets in Ireland to over €750m.”

Google continues to use its Irish base as a tax-efficient aggregator for international sales. Its latest accounts show that it paid €47m in tax on a profit of €294m in Ireland in 2015,
However, it booked €22.6bn in sales here during the same period. While its gross profit on this €22.6bn in sales was €17.1bn, it recorded €16.9bn as “administrative expenses” which were paid to other parts of its global organisation.

However, Google faces regulatory pressure from the EU on a number of fronts. The European Commission has charged it with anti-competitive behaviour over how it displays shopping results. Brussels has also introduced new proposals that would restrict the ability of Google to scan and track user communications without explicit consent.

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