Michael Smurfit honoured at inaugural Principals Club event in Dublin

Business | Fri 7 Apr | Author – Business & Finance Dr Michael Smurfit
Pictured at last night’s Principals Club (L-R):  Tony Smurfit, Dr Michael Smurfit and Ian Hyland

The Principals Club hosted its inaugural dinner at The Merrion in Dublin last night, honouring Dr Michael Smurfit.

The Principals Club, an intimate gathering of International C-suite business and political leaders, will host a series of private events across Dublin, London, New York and Washington DC throughout the year.

Last night, former Chairman of Smurfit Kappa Group Michael Smurfit was honoured at The Merrion Hotel among his peers.

Born in Lancashire in 1936, Dr Smurfit was educated at Clongowes Wood College and joined his father’s company Jefferson Smurfit & Sons in 1955. 

He was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Jefferson Smurfit Group in 1977, a position he held until his retirement as CEO in November 2002. 

Dr Smurfit led the early expansion of the Group in Ireland and the UK and followed it with a series of acquisitions in the USA, Latin America and Continental Europe – creating in the process Ireland’s first international company and a global leader in paper-based packaging.

As chairman, Dr Smurfit oversaw the merger of the Smurfit Group with Kappa Packaging BV in 2005 to form the Smurfit Kappa Group. Today Smurfit Kappa Group employs over 45,000 people across 34 countries.

In 2016, Smurfit Kappa Group delivered continued earnings growth with EBITDA of €1.24bn and an EBITDA margin of 15.1%, driven by solid volume growth across markets, resilient box pricing and the Group’s investment in high-return capital projects.  

The event was hosted by Ian Hyland (Chairman, Principals Club and Publisher, Business & Finance) and guests at last night’s event included Tony Smurfit (CEO, Smurfit Kappa), Dómnhal Slattery (CEO, Avolon), Gary McGann (Chairman, Paddy Power Betfair), Rosaleen Blair (founder and CEO, Alexander Mann), Shaun Murphy (Managing Partner, KPMG), Brian McKiernan (CEO, Davy), Martin Shanahan (CEO, IDA), Terence O’Rourke (Chairman, Enterprise Ireland), Leslie Buckley (Chairman, INM), Ray MacSharry (former Minister for Finance and EU Commissioner), among other leaders.