Apple CEO Tim Cook Commits to Ireland, Will Hire 1,000 More Employees

Apple CEO Tim Cook said his company is committed to Ireland for the long haul, whether or not the European Commission rules against Apple's tax structure in the country. Mr. Cook made the comments after announcing an expansion of Apple's Cork campus by 1,000 employees.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Interviewed by RTE News

Apple CEO Tim Cook Interviewed by RTE News

Apple has increased its headcount in Cork from 4,000 to 5,000 employees in just the last 12 months, according to Mr. Cook. Over the next 18 months, Apple plans to add another 1,000 people. Mr. Cook said that roughly a quarter of Apple's European staff are based in Cork.

Apple has long had a presence in Ireland, as it started building Apple ][ computers in a Cork factory in 1980. Apple still owns a factory there that makes iMacs—in June, that factory employed some 4,000 people, a sizable percentage of Apple's total Irish head count.

It's Apple's tax arrangements with Ireland that are under scrutiny by the European Commission, however. Apple has what it claims is an entirely legal and above-board corporate structure that allows it to book much of its European business in Ireland, where the company pays a very low tax rate. The European Commission has been investigating that structure and Apple's arrangements with Ireland.

"I can't say for sure what they will come back with," Tim Cook said in an interview with RTE News [Via The Loop]. "What I do know for sure is that if the evidence and history is viewed on a fair basis, I believe strongly... there will be no charges and so forth."

When Mr. Cook has been questioned about Apple's tax structure in the U.S., he has insisted that everything his company does is legal and said that if lawmakers don't like how Apple does its taxes, lawmakers should change the law.

To that end, he insisted in his interview with RTE News that Apple has no special arrangements with Ireland, one of the central concerns of the European Commission's investigation.

In addition to announcing the increased hiring in Cork, Mr. Cook was on hand to receive the Gold Medal of Honorary Patronage from the Philosophical Society at Trinity College Dublin.

There's a full fifteen minute video interview with Mr. Cook posted in the RTE News story—the site doesn't offer a means of embedding the video. Other topics include the importance of privacy and security, and Ireland's legalization of same sex marriage through a popular vote.