Apple chief executive Tim Cook, the boss of more than 6,000 workers in Cork and 70,000 worldwide, was given a tour of the English Market yesterday by charismatic fishmonger Pat O’Connell.
The head of the California-headquartered iPhone maker, which is worth more than $922bn, visited the English Market in the city centre before addressing staff at its Hollyhill base, where massive expansion plans are underway.
Mr Cook tweeted pictures of his visit last night, saying: “Had a wonderful time back in Cork visiting our Apple family and friends. See you again soon!”
Mr O’Connell, fresh from greeting Prince Charles and Camilla last week, gave him the grand tour.
“He was mighty impressed. He felt the history of the place. It was a real treat to show him around. It was casual and relaxed, and it was the market doing what it does best: welcoming people,” he said. “It’s incredible when someone like that gets a real kick out of it. It’s something that the big cities are losing. It’s moments like that when you know that Cork is something special.”
Mr O’Connell told Mr Cook about the history of the market, which dates back 230 years, and about the generations of families involved in the stalls.
The Apple boss has been on a tour of his firm’s European bases in recent days, and also met Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Dublin before heading to Cork.
Since 2012, Apple says it has invested nearly €220m to develop its Hollyhill campus on Cork’s northside and has expanded again with a new building that provides space for 1,400 employees. Mr Cook has also said that Apple may consider locating another data centre in Ireland.