August 2013: Seán O’Driscoll, CEO and chairman, Glen Dimplex Group

Business Person of the Month | Wed 2 Oct | Author – Business & Finance
Seán O’Driscoll, CEO and chairman, Glen Dimplex Group
Kieran Duff, partner, MERC Partners; Ian Hyland, publisher, Business & Finance; John Glenny, partner, MERC Partners; Seán O’Driscoll, CEO and chairman, Glen Dimplex Group.

Glen Dimplex continues to invest in its people at its facilities across the four continents where it has operations.

Founded in 1973, Glen Dimplex is a leading international group, with annual revenues in excess of €2bn and over 10 thousand employees across four continents. Best known for leading consumer appliance brands such as Morphy Richards and Dimplex heaters, Glen Dimplex has become an increasingly important player with significant global market positions in renewable energy solutions.

In December, it launched a new, smart electric heating system known as Quantum which promises major cost savings to consumers. Also in June of this year, Glen Dimplex announced the acquisition of UK-based Britannia Living Appliances, a leading supplier of traditional range cookers.

Reputation

Since its formation, Glen Dimplex has built a solid global business reputation and today is playing a central role in the low carbon revolution. With a range of innovative solutions in space and water heating, cooling, ventilation and heat recovery, across the world, these innovative low-carbon systems enable customers to reduce CO2 emissions and eliminate cost.

With its dynamic portfolio of leading brands and low-carbon technologies, the

Glen Dimplex Group is strategically positioned to meet the market challenges and demands for low-energy systems and solutions.

The company recently launched its next-generation renewable boiler replacement – the ‘A Class’ Air Source Heat Pump. Glen Dimplex invested over €4mn in R&D and manufacturing over a three year period. The product was developed in Dunleer with manufacturing set to take place in the Glen Dimplex plants in Newry and Portadown. It is hoped that the introduction of the ‘A Class’ will create an additional 55 jobs between the two factories over the next three years.

Glen Dimplex believes that this is now the most efficient air source heat pump available in the UK and Ireland due to its design, which maximises year-round heating system efficiency.

At the launch of the new product, investment and potential jobs creation, founder of Glen Dimplex, Martin Naughton and deputy chairman of the Group, Neil Naughton were joined by TV presenter and sustainability expert, Dick Strawbridge.

Leading innovation

Seán O’Driscoll has consistently said that the innovation is the key to growth for the Glen Dimplex Group and the company continues to invest in its people and operations in Ireland and internationally.

O’Driscoll is chairman and CEO of the Glen Dimplex Group. He joined Glen Dimplex in 1990 as Group finance director, and was appointed deputy chief executive in 1994, Group chief executive in 1998 and chairman and CEO in 2011.

Prior to joining Glen Dimplex, O’Driscoll was a partner in KPMG. He is also member of the Irish Government’s Advisory Group for the Global Irish Economic Forum.

In 2013, he was appointed by the Irish Government as an industry partner to the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs and as a member of the National Competitiveness Council of Ireland. He is a member of the EU-Japan Business Roundtable and President’s Consultative Board of University College Cork (UCC). A graduate of UCC and a chartered accountant, he has also been awarded an Honorary OBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for services to British industry.

Global connections

In September, O’Driscoll joined more than 250 business people and cultural leaders from around the world to take part in the Global Irish Economic Forum. This forum facilitates the sharing of ideas on how to stimulate Ireland’s economic recovery. Ideas to emerge from previous forums included The Gathering, the Farmleigh Fellowship and Connect Ireland and a range of measures aimed at improving access to Ireland for those seeking to do business or study here.

Speaking at the forum, O’Driscoll suggested that Ireland should consider restructuring the role institutes of technology play in education. “We need to redefine the role of ITs. They should not be quasi-universities. ITs should be about apprenticeships and internships,” he said.

CV highlights

  • Currently, he is chairman and CEO of the Glen Dimplex Group (since 2011).
  • Previously he was Group finance director (1990) and deputy chief executive (1994).
  • Prior to this, he was a partner in KPMG.
  • He is a member of the Irish Government’s Advisory Group for the Global Irish Economic Forum; and an EU-Japan Business Roundtable and President’s Consultative Board of UCC.
  • He is a graduate of UCC and a chartered accountant.
  • He was awarded an Honorary OBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for services to British industry.

Merc logoBusiness & Finance, Business Person of the Month

Business & Finance, in association with MERC Partners, has been rewarding excellence in business through the ‘Business Person of the Month’ award over the last number of years. These awards seek to recognise noteworthy achievements in business leadership, and particularly those that make a telling contribution to the wider business community in Ireland.