Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, will be rewarded by Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s prime minister, this month, Bloomberg reported. Cook plans to meet Ireland’s Doisakh in Dublin on January 20 and receive the award in recognition of Apple’s 40-year investment in Ireland.
Apple’s business relationship with Ireland has faced major challenges in recent years. In 2016, the European Commission found that the company had received illegal state aid from Ireland. Both Apple and Ireland appealed the ruling, but the European Commission filed a lawsuit against Ireland in October 2017 for failing to get Apple’s back tax. Apple has now completed a $13 billion tax payment. If the European Commission’s ruling is ultimately overturned, the money will be returned to Apple.
In 2018, Apple abandoned plans to build a $1 billion data center in Ireland. The main reason is that local residents are concerned about its potential impact on local animals and the proximity of the data center address to the plant that was shut down. Apple’s European headquarters in Cork, which expanded its European headquarters last year, provided workspace for the new 1,400 employees.
Apple currently employs 6,000 people across Ireland to support all aspects of the company. The company also said its Irish team had doubled in size in the past five years, including more than 80 employees of different nationalities.