Business & Finance releases the annual CEO 100 list recognising the top CEOs operating in Ireland.
As 2019 draws to a close, it is our pleasure to once again curate and release the annual Business & Finance CEO 100 Index. The Index is an in-depth and impartial look at the best-performing CEOs leading businesses in Ireland today and across 2019 and we take great pride in making sure that this Index is a broad representation of excellence in Irish business, taking in disruptors, innovators and visionary leaders.
It is never an easy task to compile, such is the strength of leadership and world class companies operating on these shores. We have selected but a small sample to profile here, to give a flavour of the variety, the experience and the talent operating in the Irish business community. Looking ahead to 2019 we can only predict that the quality and calibre of the business leaders will continue to go from strength to strength and we look forward to continuing our journey alongside them.
Part 1 (A-C) – Part 2 (C-F) – Part 3 (F-L) – Part 4 (L-P) – Part 5 (P-T)
Adrian Serle, Group CEO
With Communicorp since January 2017, Adrian has spent over 20 years in media, predominantly UK radio. From 2000, he spent nine years with Emap where he operated local and national radio stations leading teams across TV, radio, magazines, digital and sales. In 2009 he joined Orion Media where he assumed roles as the Group Commercial Director and Group CEO.
Adrienne Gormley, Ireland Head
Adrienne Gormley is VP of Global Customer Experience at Dropbox and Head of Dropbox’s Ireland office. She has worked in Tech for over 20 years and joined Dropbox in 2014 as Head of Online Revenue Operations EMEA, coming from Google where she led international teams across a range of functions including Sales, Google Maps and Localisation. She began her career at Microsoft.
Aengus Kelly, CEO
Mr. Kelly was appointed Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of AerCap on May 18, 2011. Previously he served as Chief Executive Officer of AerCap’s U.S. operations from January 2008 to May 2011. Mr. Kelly served as AerCap’s Group Treasurer from 2005 through December 31, 2007. He started his career in the aviation leasing and financing business with Guinness Peat Aviation (GPA) in 1998 and continued working with its successors AerFi in Ireland and debis AirFinance and AerCap in Amsterdam. Prior to joining GPA in 1998, he spent three years with KPMG in Dublin.
Alan Duffy, CEO
As well as being HSBC Ireland’s CEO, Alan is also in charge of the company’s corporate banking and security services businesses in Ireland. He joined HSBC Ireland in 2006 and his experience of 25 years spans the US, Canadian, European and Nordic markets. He holds an MBA from the Smurfit Graduate School of Business.
Alan Foy, Group CEO
Prior to joining Blueface, Alan was previously an executive with one of Ireland’s leading investment firms, NCB Group (now Investec) spanning Corporate Finance/Investment Banking, Wealth Management and Institutional Equities. He also worked with Coyle Hamilton (now Willis) in the area of business transformation & change and with AOL Finance. Alan holds a first class Bachelor in Business Studies degree, a Master of Arts and Masters of Letters in Strategic Management from the University of Dublin, Trinity College.
Albert Manifold, CEO
Since January 2014, Albert Manifold has been the Chief Executive of CRH Group. He joined the firm in 1988 as Finance Director for the Europe Materials division where he developed the company considerably in Eastern Europe. In 2004 he became Group Development Director and in 2007 was appointed Managing Director, CRH Europe Materials. A background in private equity has stood to him as he led CRH on the acquisitions trail. Ireland’s largest publicly-quoted company had sales in 2017 of €27.6 billion – equal to almost 10 per cent of Ireland’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Anne Heraty, CEO
Anne established CPL plc. in 1989 and became the first Irish woman to run a plc. With this experience she has led CPL to become the top employment-services company in Ireland. She started her career as a telesales worker at Xerox, and then moved to Grafton Recruitment before setting up her own company.
Anne O’Leary, CEO
Anne is responsible for Vodafone’s operations in Ireland and the 2,000-strong workforce. Her experience across some of the world’s biggest telecoms companies solidifies her place on this list. These include Regional Director of Esat Telecoms, Managing Director of BT and Business and Enterprise Director of Vodafone, before becoming CEO.
Barbara McGrath, Managing Director
Barbara joined the Brightwater Group in April 2005, heading up the Business Support and Retail divisions and by January 2011 was appointed to the board. In 2017 Barbara became Managing Director of the Group, managing offices in Dublin, Belfast and Cork. In September 2018, Barbara and two of her fellow board directors bought the BrightwaterGroup in an MBO and is driving the business forward both through organic and acquisitive growth. She is a former Chairperson of the Sales Institute of Ireland and a former President of the NRF.
Barry Napier, CEO & Executive Chairman
Since acquiring Cubic Telecom in 2008, Napier has expanded the team 10-fold, and closed agreements with more than 60 mobile operators including AT&T, China Mobile, Digicel, Orange, Telstra and Vodafone. Prior to joining Cubic, Napier led deals with Apple, Samsung, Nokia and Telefonica as chief executive of Brightpoint growing annual turnover from $35 million to $200 million within six years.
Bob Etchingham, CEO
Bob Etchingham founded the Applegreen Group in 1992 after working for Esso in the Republic of Ireland and the UK for over 10 years; he has over 30 years’ experience in the retail fuel market and holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from University College Dublin.
Brendan McAtamney, CEO
Brendan McAtamney stepped into the role of chief executive of healthcare services provider UDG at the company’s AGM in February 2016, taking over the role from previous CEO Liam Fitzgerald. Brendan had joined the London-listed company as COO in 2013, from another global healthcare company, Abbott.
Bruce Thompson, CEO of European (non-UK Banking)
Bank of America Ireland
A former group chief financial officer and head of risk for the Bank of America group, Bruce Thompson was chosen to lead its post-Brexit hub in Ireland. He is a member of Bank of America’s executive management and Global Banking and Markets leadership teams. He also serves on the Global Banking and Risk Council, which reviews the bank’s most significant capital commitment transactions.
Carin Bryans, Managing Director & Head of Ireland
Managing Director and Head of Ireland, Carin is responsible for J.P. Morgan’s Investor Services business in Ireland. Carin has been with J.P. Morgan for 20 years and has held a number of positions including head of operations and head of client services. Between 2010 and 2011, Carin was Chairman of the Irish Funds Industry Association and is also a founding member of Women in Banking and Finance in Ireland.
Carolan Lennon, CEO
The telecoms provider appointed its first female chief executive in April 2018, after a shake-up under its new ownership. Carolan previously served as managing director of Eir’s networks and wholesale division, Open Eir. Prior to joining Eir in 2010, Carolan held a number of senior roles in the telecoms and technology sectors, including consumer director and marketing director at Vodafone Ireland. She is currently a non-executive director of AIB Group.
Caroline Keeling, CEO and Managing Director
CEO and managing director of family-owned agri-food business Keelings, Caroline started her career with Green Isle Foods in 1992, before returning to join Keelings as Technical Manager in 1994 and then Technical Director in 1998. In 2002, she became the Managing Director of Keelings Multiples and in 2005 took over as Group Managing Director. She became CEO in 2013.
Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director
As Managing Director of Microsoft in Ireland, Cathriona drives the major tech company’s operations in Ireland. She also represents the company in all its strategies, corporate affairs and communications. She joined Microsoft in 1986 and for over 30 year has held a variety of roles including senior positions in finance and operations.
Cathy Kearney, VP European Operations
Heading up Apple’s operations at the headquarters in Holyhill, Cork, Cathy leads more than 6,000 employees. Apple has been active in Cork since 1981 and Cathy has been instrumental in the company’s growth and impact with the local community, where Apple is the largest private employer. A trained accountant, she has previously served in the role of vice president of operations for Apple Distribution International in 2012, and director of operations at Beats Electronics, which came after the $3 billion acquisition of the firm in 2014.
Cecelia Ronan, Chief Country Officer
Appointed to the role of chief country officer in March 2018, Cecilia Ronan leads the US banking giant’s 2,500 employees in Ireland, at one of the largest employers in the IFSC. She is the second highest-ranking executive at Citibank Europe, which is headquartered in Dublin and responsible for the group’s banking activities across 22 countries. She began her career in HR at Microsoft Ireland in 1997, before joining Citi three years later and moving through roles in operations and technology divisions.
Chris Kirke, President
In 2018, Chris acceded to Moy Park’s senior management team as President. He carries with him a track record of over 26 years in food production both in the UK and US. Previously, Chris served as the CEO of Greencore Group’s USA division. Prior to that, he held the position of Managing Director of the group’s food to go section in the UK where he helped drive revenue growth and built long term relationships with retail partners.