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Monday 22 May 2017

Facebook aims to nearly double staff in Dublin

Technology

Facebook boss Gareth Lambe
Facebook boss Gareth Lambe

Facebook plans to almost double its workforce in Dublin after confirming it has signed a deal for an additional office building.

The move means that nearly 10,000 of Dublin city's industrial jobs will soon be provided by two companies, Facebook and Google.

It could also spark a property boom in the East Wall area, where the tech giant's new facility will be located.

Facebook's Irish boss, Gareth Lambe, said its new property in the north docklands had space for 800 additional staff.

Growth

Facebook employs 1,600 people in its Grand Canal Square premises, but expects to fill that over the next 12 months.

"In our existing building we have the capacity for 2,000 people, but we have now reached over 1,600," Mr Lambe said.

"We're growing so fast that it's filling up, so we've taken space for another 800 desks in a new building with growth over the next few years in mind."

Mr Lambe, who also heads strategic functions for Facebook across Europe, Africa and parts of Asia, added: "Over the next number of years, if the business and platform continue to grow, we expect to continue to grow pretty substantially in Ireland.

"It's by far our largest footprint of any country in the world outside our Silicon Valley headquarters."

Mr Lambe said the Dublin operation's success was the reason for the extra investment.

"The business is growing pretty dramatically. Our last earnings showed growth of over 50pc year on year," he said. "When you're growing users and business as fast as that, we need to scale up.

"We've been very successful here at delivering results for Facebook, so we continue to get investment."

Mr Lambe denied that rec-ent nationalist rhetoric from US president Donald Trump had any bearing on Facebook's expansion plans here.

"It certainly has had no impact on our investment decisions for now, as evidenced by everything we're doing around our buildings and acquisitions," he said.

Housing

"We're a global company and we need to service our regions within those regions and languages and with knowledge of the cultural norms."

However, Mr Lambe said the company was "watching" the shortage of housing in Dublin, which might become a problem.

"It would be a concern, both in affordability and availability," he said. "In five years' time, will we have the infrastructure to accommodate future growth?"

He said Facebook's new loc-ation in Dublin's inner north city might rejuvenate the area.

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