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A New Slice of the Apple?

In 2011, Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, appeared before the Cupertino City Council to present his proposal for a new Apple headquarters on the outskirts of the city. The project, which was approved, is known as the “Ring.” It encompasses 2.8 million square feet and cost some $5 billion to construct. Jobs planned the innovative facility to inspire engineers and programmers charged with creating new Apple devices and tools (Figure 10.6). Its shape is meant to allow them to collaborate while maintaining a connection to nature. Jobs (who died in 2011) also hoped the building would enable Apple to better safeguard its secrets because it is large enough to house so many employees and data systems in one secure location. The building is sustainable due to solar panels that provide all its energy needs, and the campus includes nine thousand drought-resistant trees planted to withstand a changing climate. Parking is limited by design to encourage employees to use public transportation and share rides.Critics, however, say the Ring’s outer-city location and inward-looking shape, giving many in it a view of only the other side of the building, discourage employees from being a part of Cupertino’s life. Others argue that remodeling an existing building in the heart of the city would have done more for Cupertino’s local economy. Ninety percent of Ring workers are not local; they commute to their jobs, and so they might not have made an impact on the city even if Apple had made a different decision. Shareholders also objected to the facility because of its cost, which may have reduced Apple’s ability to issue more corporate dividends.46 However, Jobs’ approach to the Apple campus is unquestionably part of a growing trend to create company compounds.

answer the following questions:

  1. Should a company build in the inner city to integrate its workforce with the community and reduce the traffic consequences of adding its workforce to the local population?
  2. Is it better for a company to support local restaurants or build its own restaurant facilities?
  3. Is it ethical for a company to spend so much on building a corporate facility instead of increasing shareholder dividends?
  4. Should there be zoning laws regarding corporate campuses?


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