Health and fitness band maker Fitbit is to establish its EMEA headquarters in Dublin, with plans to employ 50 people this year and up to 100 employees by the end of 2017.
Fitbit’s new Dublin office will be headed by managing director Des Power, a seasoned tech executive, and will provide targeted support to the millions of Fitbit users across the EMEA region.
The office will serve as Fitbit’s EMEA headquarters and will house the strategic business functions for the region, including senior management roles, sales, marketing, operations, finance and customer support staff.
The office will have the ability to support five European languages across the Fitbit platform.
Fitbit was something of a pioneer in the connected health and fitness market, starting up in 2007 and, since then, has grown into a leading global health and fitness brand, shipping more than 48.7m devices globally as of Q2 2016.
The Fitbit platform consists of devices, apps, social and motivational features, advice and personalised coaching that aim to help people lead healthier, more active lives by making behavioural changes, such as exercising more, eating smarter, tracking their sleep and managing their weight.
The company, which says it is growing at a rate of 150pc per year, will employ 50 people in Dublin by the end of this year and has room for up to 100 by the end of 2017.
“We’ve seen Dublin become a strategic hub for the technology industry as a centre for innovation and sourcing top talent in the region, and we look forward to building a strong team here to complement our offices around the world,” said Fitbit CEO and co-founder James Park.
“I’m excited to welcome Des to the team and back to his native Ireland. I have great confidence in our ability to further expand our business and help people across EMEA lead healthier, more active lives.”
As part of his new responsibilities, Power will be tasked with expanding the company’s presence across the region.
Previously, Power held various leadership roles at Philips and Harman International, and spent much of his career driving regional and global strategies across a range of consumer products, from flatscreen televisions to consumer audio products.
The investment was welcomed by Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD, who said it signified Dublin’s appeal as a hub for successful companies like Fitbit.
“Fitbit is one of the world’s most popular and fastest-growing health and wellness companies, and I am delighted that they have selected Ireland as the location for its EMEA headquarters as it will provide exciting employment opportunities for our skilled workers.”
IDA Ireland chief executive Martin Shanahan said Fitbit’s decision to come to Dublin was a strong endorsement of Ireland’s reputation as a place for fast-growing tech companies to build and support their future international growth.
“Fitbit joins many other technology companies that have recognised the many advantages of locating in Ireland. IDA looks forward to supporting Fitbit as it grows and develops its Irish operations.”