This afternoon I attended the press launch of the New Facebook HQ for their European and North African operations on Hanover Quay in Dublin with Tanaiste Mary Coughlan
, director of European online operations Colm Long and Facebook CFO David Ebersman.
The company was announcing the creation of double the amount of jobs it had initially intended to bring here and Colm Long said the main reason for that was "the acceleration in growth from 100 million users at the start of the year to the 300 million who use the service today".
Ebersman claimed that "Facebook was still a very small company with only 750 employees but that it was growing rapidly and broadening it's user base". Jobs to be created at the Dublin HQ include Sales, HR, Finance and "some engineering".
It is seen as a major coup for the Irish government to attract such a large internationally recognized company and the new offices are only a stones throw from another Internet giant's offices, Google.
Ebersman went to say "it was a very easy decision to come to Ireland given the large talented work force and the success stories that other companies had achieved here in the past".
The event was well received and created a great buzz and a much needed good news story for the Irish economy in these troubled times but I must say I was very miffed to see the Irish journalists spend most of their time asking Mary Coughlan questions about drink driving laws, cross border V.A.T and taxation issues when the government and IDA for once deserved a pat on the back.
On a lighter note when Mary Coughlan was asked if she had a Facebook page she replies "Never, you guys know too much about me already". At least Facebook can be applauded for adapting to local customs fairly quicly as their goodie bags included an umbrella, an essential tool for avoiding Irish weather, they are quick learners.