The tech business week: Microsoft to build huge Dublin HQ, Eircom shifts corporate debt to Jersey

11 Aug 2014

Microsoft receives approval to build huge Dublin HQ

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, beginning with the news tech titan Microsoft has been granted permission to build headquarters big enough for 2,000 employees in Dublin.

Microsoft receives approval to build huge Dublin HQ

Tech titan Microsoft has been granted permission to build headquarters large enough to accommodate 2,000 employees in Leopardstown, Dublin.

The proposed office development over three hectares at South County Business Park is subject to 35 conditions set out by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, The Irish Times reported. The deal includes an €8.3m fee to the council for parks, roads and public transport.

More than 1,900 people work at Microsoft’s Irish operations in Dublin, spread across two buildings in the South County Business Park and another two buildings in the Sandyford Business Park.

The new headquarters would have all employees under one roof, Ossian Smyth, councillor for the Green Party, told The Irish Times.

Construction is expected to be finished in 2016.

Eircom shifts its corporate debt to Jersey company

Incumbent Irish telecoms operator Eircom has moved assets and liabilities to a new operating company in Jersey ahead of a potential public listing.

Eircom said it will remain tax resident in Ireland and all management and operations of the companies will remain in Ireland.

The move, part of Eircom’s attempts to restructure, will give the company greater flexibility to pay dividends to shareholders.

UPC grows broadband and digital TV subscriptions by 70k subscribers

Cable TV and broadband provider UPC reported a 70,100 year-on-year increase in subscriptions, bringing its total subscriber base to 1,091,600 subscribers.

UPC said digital TV, internet and voice subscriptions were up 7,600 during the second quarter.

Total broadband subscribers now stand at 352,000 customers, up 10pc year-on-year, while UPC has 324,500 phone customers, up 22pc year-on-year.

In terms of digital cable TV, the company had 336,700 digital cable TV subscribers at the end of the quarter, up 0.3pc year-on-year.

Xiaomi officially king on its own turf, overtaking Samsung

Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi has established itself as the producer of the best-selling smartphone in its native China, surpassing Samsung.

Samsung’s phones have long been among the best-selling phones in Asia, but China’s own industry is developing, with Xiaomi and Huawei leading the charge. Xiaomi controls 14pc of China’s entire market, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The figures released by Canalys show that while Xiaomi has now established itself as a top seller, Samsung still isn’t too far behind, along with other Chinese manufacturers Lenovo and Yulong, who have about 12pc of the market share each.

According to market analysts speaking to The Wall Street Journal, the growth in Xiaomi’s product range is down to its lower cost compared with Samsung (Samsung’s phones range in the US$500 range while Xiaomi is closer to US$100) and the popularity of its Redmi series and its Mi flagship series.

Yahoo! poaches new CIO from Netflix

Mike Kail, a former Netflix executive, has been appointed chief information officer (CIO) and senior vice-president of infrastructure at Yahoo!.

Kail will lead the tech company’s IT and data centre operations, reporting directly to CEO Marissa Mayer. His predecessor, David Dibble, left in July 2013 and what followed, according to Mayer, was “an intensive search for the right leader”.

One year on, Kail has been selected for having “the perfect combination of experience and vision to lead our IT and infrastructure to even greater global reach and scale,” said Mayer.

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