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PayPal boss wanted to bring 1,000 jobs to Portlaoise rather than Dundalk

PayPal boss wanted to bring 1,000 jobs to Portlaoise rather than Dundalk

Former PayPal Vice-President Louise Phelan has admitted she wanted to bring the 1,000 jobs the company brought to Dundalk back in 2012 to her native Laois.

Speaking at a Laois Chamber of Commerce lunch on Tuesday, Ms Phelan – who left the company after 13 years back in March – said: “I wanted to bring those 1,000 jobs in PayPal to Laois but I physically couldn’t because the broadband was not sufficient in 2012.”

According to a report in the Leinster Express, the non-executive director of Ryanair said the development of PayPal in Dundalk was an example of what companies in Laois needed.

“I went to the Xerox Park in Dundalk where there was only one company. We put in a state of the art premises at the Xerox building which up to then had been a skeleton building. That is what you need. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) companies expect state of the art buildings.”

Outlining how she hoped to bring a state of the art building in Portlaoise, she said it made sense to bring more jobs to the regions rather than having people commute to Dublin.

“12,000 people leaving the county each day is not sustainable and we, as CEOs, have to change that.

“In Dundalk the performance from our teams was 20 to 30 per cent better than it was in Dublin. Why was that? Because people were not commuting hours to Dublin, they were living and working in their own communities and their productivity was higher.

“The reality is we want to bring people back to the county to make sure engagement with family, friends community.”

Meanwhile, profit at PayPal’s Irish arm more than tripled to €23.17 million last year.

Recently filed accounts for the Irish unit of online payments giant PayPal show that profit before tax rose more than 3½ times from the €6.49 million recorded in 2017.

The accounts for the 2018 financial year also show sales rose 7.9 per cent to €206.8 million.

PayPal Europe Services Ltd provides customer support, risk operations and corporate administrative services to the wider group.

Since establishing its operations here, PayPal has become one the largest multinational employers in the country. It employed 2,450 staff in the year across its bases in Dundalk and Blanchardstown, up slightly on the previous year. The majority of those were in customer support roles and “general and administrative” roles.

PayPal paid out €95.1 million in salary costs during the year, a 3.3 per cent rise on the previous year. It also had redundancy costs of €1.34 million.