Taoiseach flies out to San Francisco for three-day business visit

Enda Kenny to meet top executives at Silicon Valley firms that employ 16,000 in Ireland

Enda Kenny is due to meet Facebook chief executive Sheryl Sandberg tomorrow. Photograph: Barry Cronin

Enda Kenny is due to meet Facebook chief executive Sheryl Sandberg tomorrow. Photograph: Barry Cronin


Taoiseach Enda Kenny will arrive in the United States today for a three-day visit to San Francisco and Silicon Valley, where he will meet senior executives at technology and new media companies.

The visit, the second by the Taoiseach to the US this year, is designed to attract more investment and jobs for Ireland and support exporting Irish firms and entrepreneurs.

Mr Kenny will visit the head offices of multinationals in Silicon Valley, which between them employ almost 16,000 people in Ireland.

Corporate figures

Sheryl SandbergFacebook

Other high-profile corporate figures that the Taoiseach will meet include John Donahoe, eBay chief executive; Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn chief executive; and Jeremy Stoppelman, chief executive of social review website Yelp.

Mr Kenny will meet John Hinshaw, the executive vice- president of technology and operations at computer manufacturer HP; and John Chambers, chairman and chief executive of networking giant Cisco. Senior management from electric car maker Tesla Motors and software companies Workday and New Relic will also meet the Taoiseach.

He will attend private meetings with companies that the State investment authority, the IDA, is hoping will choose to set up operations in Ireland.

“Silicon Valley is a vitally important market for Ireland. Overall, 36,000 people work at US west coast-based firms in Ireland,” the Taoiseach said in a statement released before his departure for San Francisco.

“My visit here this week is vital in cementing and reinforcing existing investor relationships as well as building new connections with a view to securing new jobs and investment for Ireland during 2014, the year of jobs.”

Trade links

PCH InternationalLiam CaseyJerry Brown

The Taoiseach’s official itinerary in the US starts this evening with a reception hosted by Irish Ambassador to the US, Anne Anderson, and the Irish consul general in San Francisco, Philip Grant.