Renewing energy and ambition

View from the Boardroom | Fri 27 May | Author – Business & Finance Richard Moat Eir
Richard Moat, CEO, eir

Richard Moat talks to Business & Finance about communication being the key motivator for employee drive and performance.

Richard Moat is well-placed to offer leadership advice given his extensive experience at the top echelons of the telecommunications industry in Ireland and internationally. Moat was named CEO of eir in 2014, having previously served as its CFO and executive director, roles he had held since 2012. Prior to that he was managing director of T-Mobile in the UK and CFO at Everything Everywhere, formed from a merger of T-Mobile and Orange Mobile.

“I believe it is important to empower employees so that everyone feels they can bring ideas to the table, voice opinions and have the freedom to work on their own initiative,” he says. Moat believes that involving the senior team in decision making drives healthy debate and leads to better decisions as everyone’s opinion is heard.

Moat also argues that in any business it’s important to be decisive, and avoid “the propensity to demand greater and greater analysis when the information available is sufficient to make a reasoned decision.”

Moat is a firm believer in the power of direct communication, and each quarter he attempts to meet as many employees as possible face-to-face to let them know what went well, what didn’t work well, and what the organisation needs to concentrate on in the coming quarter.

In addition to this, Moat says, “above all, the key to success in leadership is attracting and retaining the best possible talent, people who have the drive and ability to steal my job.”

I am naturally competitive and have always believed that regardless of your position within a company, you should always go that extra mile and give every task, big or small, your absolute best

Teamwork is essential to the success of any company, and at eir this ethos is very much appreciated. “There have been a number of occasions in my time at eir where I have felt very proud of the work that has been delivered by different areas of the business coming together to work as one team,” Moat says. “A recent example of this is the rebranding last year of eircom to eir. The passion, creativity, hard work and commitment that was shown across the business was phenomenal. This was the largest re-branding in Ireland’s corporate history, and we did it in a matter of weeks – no mean feat, I can tell you. Other examples include when we were first to market with 4G, and our recent acquisition of Setanta Sports. None of these things would have happened without teamwork.”

Motivating the team is essential to the success and growth of any company, so how does the eir CEO ensure that his team is motivated and appreciated? “Never underestimate the impact a simple ‘thank you’ can make to an individual or team,” he says. “There are employees in eir who every day go above and beyond their job and that has to be recognised and appreciated. Celebrating success and taking the time to say ‘well done, good job’ is something that is often overlooked in the cut-and-thrust of everyday working life. We can all too easily get wrapped up in the stress and demands of big projects or the next deadline. It really is so important to stop and take stock every now and then and to spend time recognising success and a task well done.”

CHANGES AND CHALLENGES

Competition is very strong in the telecoms industry, and staying ahead in such a fast-paced industry can be challenging: the job is to de-mystify it for customers. He says that the company is also investing at scale in its network infrastructure and in the last three years alone has invested €1bn in its network.

There are a number of things that drive him to succeed. “I am naturally competitive and have always believed that regardless of your position within a company, you should always go that extra mile and give every task, big or small, your absolute best. A competitive streak is sometimes viewed as a negative trait, but I see it as something that allows an individual to bring energy and passion to their job.” Eir’s performance in the market has been particularly strong in recent years and Moat says he wants to build on that.

According to Jim Dowdall, CEO of GloHealth, “Under the leadership of Richard Moat, eir has undergone significant transformation across its business and its brand, and deserves to be commended for its strong performance and continued growth.” 

Business & Finance, A View from the Boardroom

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