Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the Friday before Israel’s parliamentary election about the hi-tech giant’s plans for new investments in Israel, Globes reported on Monday (מיליארד וחצי דולר והקמת דאטה סנטר מוקדם מהמתוכנן: פרטים חדשים על ההשקעה הצפויה של מיקרוסופט בישראל). Nadella, who had tripled Microsoft’s stock value between his appointment, in 2014, and 2018, shared with the PM the details of his company’s planned new investments in Israel, which could reach $1.5 billion.
Microsoft had already decided to set up a data center in Israel in 2021 and is now contemplating the expansion of its chips activity to Israel, with a new R&D center. This would follow Google’s announcement of a new chip R&D center in Israel.
According to Globes, Nadella, who did not request government incentives in his talk with Netanyahu, and received no commitments to that end, told the PM that Israel is, “a very important development center for Microsoft.”
Globes noted that Microsoft’s Israeli IP’s current tax rate is 6%, while other corporations pay 23%. Small Israeli tech companies pay 7.5% to 12%.
The Prime Minister’s Office and National Economic Council chairman Avi Simhon have already met with Microsoft officials to discuss additional incentives, as well as the scope of the company’s planned investments in Israel.
In 2018, Simhon drew harsh criticism for an article he published in The Marker, titled “A Family with 8 Children is a Sin,” in which he suggests that based on Israel’s economic factors, the country should have longed been able to equal Sweden, Finland, and Denmark with its quality of life and that the reason it doesn’t should be blamed on two large population groups, the Haredim and the Arabs.