Ireland can thank U2's Bono for persuading Google to move its international headquarters there in 2004.
"Bono is close to Sheryl Sandberg, who he met when she worked with Larry Summers at the Department of Treasury when he was in to talk about third world debt,"one source told the Independent.
"She became director of online sales and operations at Google and was responsible for international operations. She made the call about Ireland."
The $170bn-valued business was thinking of making Switzerland home for its international headquarters, according to IDA sources, but the online search engine ultimately settled on Ireland, setting up an office on Earlsfort Terrace in late 2003. The next year, the company announced it would create 200 jobs there. Google now employs 2,000 staff in Ireland.
"Bono came in to Google to give a talk in 2004 after being asked by Sheryl Sandberg," said one source. "He also met with the founders and about 10 managers at a lunch in Dublin."
"He encouraged her about the location of the office too. It's near to the U2 studios and he got her to look at the area." Google subsequently purchased three office blocks on Barrow Street in Dublin, including the $142m Montevetro building.
Bono is also involved with Elevation Partners, a technology-focused private equity firm that owns a $850m stake in Facebook. Bono's former business partner Marc Bodnick is Sheryl Sandberg's brother-in-law. Two years ago, Sandberg became Facebook's chief operating officer when the social networking giant set up Irish operations in Dublin's docklands.
"I worked personally quite hard to get Google to choose Ireland as their headquarters outside of America and I'm proud of it being here -- and Facebook now," Bono told Hot Press last week.
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