4 April 2013BusinessWeek:
“It would take some convincing for me to understand why $5 billion is the right number for a project like this,” says Keith Goddard, the chief executive of Tulsa-based Capital Advisors, which owns 30,537 shares of Apple. “This is rubbing salt in the wound, to spend at a level that most anyone would say is extravagant, at a time when they’re being so stingy on dividends.” If the stock continues to underperform, Goddard predicts, “this headquarters would perpetuate the negative story.”
“Extravagance” is a very extreme term, especially when considering Apple’s typical conservatism with purchases.1
They need the space to keep growing the number of employees they can have in Cupertino. They need a ‘nice’ space to not only attract new employees, but to also assist with talent retention. Good people don’t want to work in dilapidated, old, bland work environments.
1 According to Wikipedia, Apple’s priciest acquisition is still NeXT at $400 million.