Apple Looking to Expand Cupertino Staff by Nearly 50 Percent Over Next 3 Years

Apple Looking to Expand Cupertino Staff by Nearly 50 Percent Over Next 3 Years

Apple is looking to increase its workforce in Silicon Valley by nearly 50 percent as it builds its new “spaceship” headquarters. 

According to a report (which Apple had commissioned from consulting firm Keyser Marston Associates), Apple is looking to hire 7,400 new employees in its Cupertino, California headquarters over the next three years. 

Apple currently employs 16,000 people in Cupertino, and about 73,000 worldwide. 

The tech giant submitted this report to Cupertino city officials to win approval for its new spaceship-like headquarters. The new HQ will feature a 2.8 million square foot campus with 176 acres of trees (adding 6,000 trees total) and curved exterior walls with 40-foot panes of concave glass from the floor to the ceiling. 

Back in June 2011, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs presented plans for Apple’s new corporate building before the Cupertino City Council. It looked like a spaceship, and was capable of holding 12,000 employees. At that time, the budget was a little under $3 billion. Jobs wanted to break ground in 2012 and have the Apple spaceship complete by 2015. 

However, the budget has since grown to nearly $5 billion today, and the company doesn’t plan to start building until this month. The project likely won’t be complete until 2016. 

Despite the delay, which is due to the ballooning budget (Apple is currently trying to knock about $1 billion off the total), Apple is staying positive and looking forward to making the spaceship home to over 7,000 new employees. 

But investors don’t seem as positive as Apple. Many worry that Apple has lost its edge after Jobs died in October 2011, and has only made upgrades to the iPhone and iPad ever since instead of creating new products. 

Apple shares have fallen significantly from its all-time high of $700 per share in September 2012 to about $445 at the time of this article’s publication. Shares fell as low as $400 (and briefly below that mark) in April of this year.

Hence, building a $5 billion spaceship HQ with 7,400 new employees doesn’t seem like a smart move to investors — especially when the Keyser Marston report estimates that each Cupertino employee at Apple makes about $125,000 per year on average. 

But Apple still has a load of cash (about $145 billion) and still meets the mark when it comes to quarterly financial reports. For Q2 2013, revenue came in at $43.6 billion, which was a boost from $39.2 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts expected around $10.07 per share on revenue of $42.5 billion.

Net profit, on the other hand, came in at $9.5 billion ($10.09 per diluted share), which was down 18 percent compared to the same period last year. This was Apple’s first year-over-year profit decline in nearly 10 years.