MICROSOFT PLANS TO create 500 jobs in a new ‘inside sales’ base for Europe to be set up in Dublin.
The company also said it would add another 100 staff to its existing operations in jobs ranging from finance to operations, engineering and sales.
The EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) inside sales centre will handle remote selling of the software company’s products – as opposed to traditional ‘field sales’, which are handled face-to-face.
Microsoft is expected to start hiring immediately for the roles, which are predicted to be filled within the next six months.
The company first established operations in Ireland with a 100-person manufacturing plant in 1985. Since then, its workforce has swelled to 1,200 full-time and 700 contract staff at its Sandyford campus.
Microsoft houses four major operations in the country, covering software development and testing, localisation and various operational functions like sales and marketing.
Ireland’s largest company
The latest accounts for its main Irish subsidiary, Microsoft Ireland Operations, show $21.8 billion in sales were routed through the company in the year to 30 June 2015.
That income contributed to $1.05 billion in pre-tax profits, in turn delivering corporate taxes of $128.3 million – down from $203.9 million in 2014, but still enough to make the firm one of the state’s largest taxpayers. The firm has also routinely topped the list of Ireland’s largest companies by turnover.
Its US parent company, founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975, has progressively been shifting away from selling software to providing services – particularly in the fast-growing field of cloud computing, where it provides the Office 365 suite.
Last year it acquired professional networking site LinkedIn for more than $26 billion, its largest deal to date. LinkedIn also employs around 800 people in Ireland.
Reporting by Ronan Smyth and Peter Bodkin.