Business & Finance has released the annual CEO 100 Index, recognising the leading chief executives operating in Ireland in 2021.
The full list is available to download here
The CEO 100 Index launch webinar webinar – themed ‘Leading the Way: New Era, No Limits’ – is available to watch on demand here.
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.
Dave Kirwan, Managing Director,
Dave Kirwan is Managing Director of Bord Gáis Energy. Dave returned to the role of MD in Summer 2020 having completed a successful term in the UK as Managing Director of the UK Customer Operations and latterly MD of the UK Home business. Dave was responsible for leading the Bord Gáis Energy business through the successful sale to Centrica in 2014 and prior to that had worked in Bord Gáis Éireann for 15 years. He was responsible for the launch of its Northern Ireland business, Firmus Energy, the development of the Whitegate power station and the acquisition and subsequent merger of the SWS wind business. Prior to joining Bord Gáis Energy, Dave worked in power generation sector for ESB/ESBI in Ireland, US and Vietnam. Dave holds a BE electronics from UCD and is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers of Ireland, he also holds an MBA from UCC and a doctorate in business economics (DBA) from UCC. Dave also serves on the Centrica Group Executive Committee.
Gordon Lawlor, Managing Director Ireland,
Gordon Lawlor took over as managing director for Circle K in Ireland in August 2019. Prior to this he served as Fuels Director in the company. Gordon has significant industry expertise having held several management and leadership roles in the fuel and convenience retail sector over the last 21 years. He worked for ExxonMobil for 17 years – in Ireland with Esso Ireland, and internationally with ExxonMobil in both Brussels and London. He also led the Esso business in Ireland as its Chairman and Director from 2012 until its acquisition by Topaz Energy in 2015.”
Fergal Lemay, CEO,
Fergal Leamy joined Glen Dimplex in 2019 and was appointed to the Group CEO role in 2021. He has spent more than 20 years operating at the highest level in a number of international businesses. Fergal was Chief Executive of the Coillte Group from 2014 to 2019. Prior to joining Coillte, he worked for Terra Firma, a leading Private Equity house in London, and was responsible for the operations of a number of portfolio companies, including spending a significant period as CEO of Consolidated Pastoral Company in Australia. Fergal began his career at McKinsey & Company where he worked with many leading consumer goods clients. He moved from McKinsey to establish and run Greencore’s US operations.
Paul Marchant, CEO,
Paul joined Primark in 2009 with a career long background in Fashion retail. He has previously worked for Debenhams, Topman, River Island and was COO at New Look before joining Primark.
Conor & James McCarthy, CEO & Founders,
Conor McCarthy is CEO and Co-Founder of Flipdish, an online ordering system for restaurants founded in 2015. Headquartered in Dublin, Flipdish helps thousands of hospitality brands in over 12 countries. Flipdish puts restaurants, cafés and takeaways of all sizes in control of their business growth with a digital ordering and marketing system that builds brands, grows profits and new customers into regulars. Conor previously co-founded Switch Poker in 2010, the first poker site compatible with iPhone and iPad. He was CEO of SawadeeSoft Limited, the company that managed the software for Switch Poker for 5 years. Conor is a graduate of Maynooth University, achieving a Master of Science in Software Development in 2008. Prior to these studies, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Technological University Dublin in 2004. During his time in college, Conor founded HandHQ.com, an online poker data-mining service which was later sold in 2014. After graduating from St. Michael’s College, James McCarthy attended Technological University Dublin where he earned his degree in architecture in 2010. His career started in 2006, when James was an architect intern for Scott Tallon Walker Architects. Upon graduating University, he worked in business development at Sawadeesoft Ltd before working as a graduate architect at Gary Cahill Architects. From 2012 to 2013, James worked in Sales Support for Kvadrat Soft Cells. In 2012, James founded The Christmas Shirt Company. Then, in 2015, James co-founded Flipdish with his brother, Conor. In 2011, James founded Cuebald For Cancer, an organisation that works to raise money and Awareness for the Irish Cancer Society.
Peter McCarthy, CEO,
Speed Fibre Group
Peter, CEO of Speed Fibre Group, home of Enet and Magnet +, is an accomplished and skilled business leader and strategist who has a successful track record in creating, managing, growing, and transforming a diverse range of domestic and international businesses. He has over 30 years’ experience with companies such as Digicel, Actavo, Thornsett and Accenture, amongst others, resulting in considerable knowledge across a variety of sectors such as telecoms (fixed and mobile), utility services, real estate, renewable energy, and consumer-facing digital technology. Peter has full responsibility for Speed Fibre Group, which has 200+ employees, a combined annual turnover of over €76M and offices in Dublin and Limerick.
Danny McCoy, CEO,
Danny McCoy is Chief Executive Officer of Ibec since 2009. Ibec is Ireland’s largest business representative organisation and the country’s largest lobbying group. It has 245 staff in nine locations and has 39 trade association brands and substantial presence within the European Union through Ibec’s Brussels office. Prior to joining Ibec, Danny was a senior economist at both the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) and the Central Bank of Ireland in Dublin. He has held lecturing posts at Dublin City University, University College London, University of Oxford and Trinity College Dublin. He has been a consultant for the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). He has been a member of the Irish National Competitiveness Council, the National Economic and Social Council, the Commission on Taxation and the National Training Agency. He led a European Macroeconomic Forecasting Network for the European Commission of eleven national research institutes. He is currently President of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland, Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Engineers, Board member of MaREI and member of the Trade and Investment Council, Executive Bureau of BusinessEurope, Government’s Balance for Better Business Group. His academic work in the early 1990s covered carbon taxation and Sustainable Development for which he received an Economic scholarship and the Barrington Medal for researchers under 30.
Francesca McDonagh, Group CEO,
Bank Of Ireland
Francesca McDonagh is Bank of Ireland Group CEO. Bank of Ireland Group provides a broad range of personal, business and corporate financial services in Ireland, with international operations in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, and the United States. Prior to joining Bank of Ireland, Francesca served with HSBC for 20 years, holding a number of senior leadership roles in private banking, investment banking, retail banking, and wealth management across seven different countries. As Group CEO, Francesca has instituted a widespread programme of transformation at Bank of Ireland, including of culture, systems and business model. Passionate about customers and colleagues, she has championed innovation, investment in digital, and the enhancement of customer services. She is a leader on inclusion and diversity, with Bank of Ireland introducing a range of initiatives to foster greater gender balance and ethnic diversity. Francesca is Chair of the Open Doors Initiative and sits on the board of Ibec. She has previously served on the Board of the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), where she was Deputy Chair, the Board of the National Centre for Universities and Business in the UK and was a member of the PRA Practitioner Panel. Francesca has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University.
Tina McKenzie, CEO,
After graduating from Ulster University, Tina went on to pursue a successful international recruitment career, giving her over 25 years’ experience in the Recruitment and Employment Services sector, working with some of the world’s largest blue chip companies. After returning to Northern Ireland 2013, she established Staffline Recruitment as a start-up throughout Ireland; taking the company from a standing start to a turnover of £150 million within 5 years. This unprecedented success led to a stream of awards including the UTV Fast Business Growth Award in 2015, IOD’s Director of the Year Award in 2017 and UTV Business Eye’s Business Personality of the Year Award in 2018 and the Belfast Telegraph Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020. Tina has previously served as the European Ambassador for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day and is currently the Honorary Consul to Finland in Northern Ireland. Tina McKenzie also sits on the board of the Federation of Small Businesses, following over three years as Chair of the Policy Unit for Northern Ireland.
Conor McQuaid, Chairman and CEO,
Conor McQuaid holds a degree in International Marketing & Languages from Dublin City University. Having begun his career with Golden Vale Group plc, Conor joined Irish Distillers Ltd in 1998 and was appointed International Brand Development Director of Irish Distillers in July 2005, joining the Irish Distillers Executive Committee. In July 2011, Conor became Managing Director of Pernod Ricard South Africa and was subsequently appointed EVP Global Business Development Pernod Ricard Group joining the Executive Committee of Pernod Ricard Group in 2015. He returned to Ireland to take the role of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Irish Distillers in 2018. He has played a pivotal role in the continued success of the Irish Distillers whiskey portfolio and specifically the global success of Jameson Irish whiskey.
David McRedmond, CEO,
David McRedmond was appointed Chief Executive Officer of An Post in October 2016. He has led the Company’s Transformation programme and return to financial stability, sustainable revenue growth and profit by taking big steps to fix the Company’s economics and by restructuring the Mails & Parcels and Retail business in line with a rapidly changing, digital marketplace. David is personally driving An Post’s Sustainability Charter, having positioned Climate Action, Decent Work, Sustainable Cities & Communities and Innovation & Partnerships – four of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals most pertinent to the global postal industry – at the centre of An Post’s business transformation strategy. An Post published its first Gender Pay Gap Report and Action Plan in October 2019, just one of its Decent Work initiatives. David was previously CEO of TV3 which he transformed into a major Irish broadcaster, concluding with its sale to Liberty Global in December 2015. He was appointed chairman of Eir in 2018; he is a director of Premier Lotteries Ireland (the National Lottery) and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Martin McVicar, CEO & Co-Founder,
Managing Director of a globally successful Irish material handling solutions business based in Co Monaghan. My career in engineering started with a summer job at Moffett Engineering, a truck-mounted forklift manufacturer. I became Moffett’s Chief Engineer before I was 20. When the company was sold in 1997, I set up Combilift together with Robert Moffet. Combilift is a specialist forklift & straddle carrier manufacturer producing a wide range of customised handling solutions, all of which are designed for the safe, space saving and very productive handling of the long and bulky loads. We developed a niche product for the material handling sector for handling long and awkward loads. 4-way Combilifts work as counterbalance, sideloader, and narrow-aisle forklifts. The Combi-SC (Straddle Carrier) is the cost effective solution for the handling of containers and oversized loads. My career highlights include been named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the age of just 29. I continued to develop new additions to the Combilift range of products and to travel widely to explore new markets and applications for this ingenious product.
Colin Meagle, Group CEO,
Colin Meagle is Group CEO of the Continuum Group and a founding partner in Continuous Ventures. The Continuum Group provide digital transformation services across Europe and the US to bluechip and government clients. Colin founded Continuum as an attic start-up in Dublin in 2002 which has since grown into the Grand Prix award-winning Continuum Group with five companies in its portfolio. Continuum has been the winner of the spider award for Best Large Agency in Ireland on a number of occasions. Continuous Ventures, an Irish/US accelerator and investment firm works with multiple AI start-ups and platforms. A specialist in disruptive strategies, Colin was recently conferred the award for Irish Digital Trailblazer of the year for his work with tech start-ups. Colin mentors and invests in start-ups focusing on AI, Medtech, Fintech and envirotech.
Kevin Moore, Deputy CEO,
A dynamic, strategic and results focused leader, with a track record of delivering success in highly competitive, multi-site and fast-moving FMCG markets, currently within the chilled own label food market and retail. Sitting on the Executive Committee, a commercially strong individual who works with drive and passion and has a background of ‘troubleshooting’ and business turnaround, as well as expertise in building businesses organically. A perceptive and values based leader with vision, who is sensitive to broader commercial objectives.
Eric Mosley, Co-Founder & CEO,
Eric is an HR visionary, author, and the force behind the Workhuman movement. As CEO and co-founder of what began as Globoforce and is now Workhuman, he is leading the charge to dismantle old HR processes and challenge organizations to build new ways to connect the modern workforce. He guides organizations worldwide on how to create more human-centric workplaces that leverage the way people work today, which is around employee development, social connections and relationships, and organizational communities and teams. As a pioneer of the Workhuman movement, Eric has long believed that recognition and positive reinforcement unleash discretionary energy in employees, inspiring them to do the best work of their lives. Employees achieve their fullest potential when they feel appreciated, connected, and empowered for who they are and what they do. Eric is the author of “The Crowdsourced Performance Review” and co-author of the award-winning book, “The Power of Thanks.” He is also a regular contributor to The Huffington Post on the topics of recognition and humanity in the workplace, and a frequent contributor to publications including Forbes, Fast Company, and the Harvard Business Review.
Marc Murphy, CEO,
Founder and CEO, Marc is responsible for Fenergo’s business and operational strategy and corporate direction. With 18 years’ experience developing, selling and delivering enterprise financial technology to global banks, Marc has developed proven track record of building successful business-winning and leadership teams. In 2020, Marc led a funding round of $80m with ABN AMRO Ventures and DxC Technologhy, at a post-money valuation of around $800m. In 2015, he led an $85m funding round with Insight Venture Partner and Aquiline Capital Partners, marking the second fundraising effort for the company. In 2013, Fenergo secured €4m funding from Investec Ventures Ireland Limited. Marc was recently named a Fintech 100 Most Influential Leader in recognition of the impact that Fenergo’s technology is having on the way financial institutions manage thier compliance obligations and operational requirements. Marc is a software engineering and MBA graduate of Dublin City University.
Donal Murphy, CEO,
Donal was appointed Chief Executive of DCC plc in July 2017. Donal joined DCC in 1998 and has a detailed knowledge of the operations of the Group, having held a number of senior leadership roles, including Managing Director of DCC Technology from 2004 to 2006 and Managing Director of DCC Energy from 2006 to 2017. He led the very significant growth of the Energy division and its transition from a small UK and Irish business to a substantial international business operating in 12 countries.
Liam Nagle, Chairman & CEO,
Norbrook Laboratories Ltd.
Liam joined Norbrook in February 2015 as Chief Executive Officer. Since joining Norbrook, Liam has strengthened the Leadership Team and implemented a 5-year strategic plan driving year-on-year growth. Liam was appointed Chairman & CEO in August 2019. Liam has more than 30 years’ international business experience in finance, operations, marketing as well as mergers and acquisitions and has held senior roles in a range of industries throughout his career. Prior to joining Norbrook, Liam was Chairman of SISK Group’s construction and healthcare businesses from 2014 to 2015, having previously held the position of Chief Executive of SISK Group from 2008-2014. In 2003 Liam became Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of Bookham Technology, where he was appointed President and Chief Operations Officer in 2004. Prior to this, Liam was a senior executive at Intel from 1994 to 1997 and led the start up for Bay Networks Europe as Vice-President of Operations from 1997-1998. When Nortel Networks acquired Bay Networks in 1998, he held a number of senior roles in Nortel.
Tony Neary, VP and GM, Medtronic Galway Shared Site, Medtronic
Tony Neary is VP of EMEA Operations and General Manager at Medtronic in Galway, and has been in this role since 2015. Previously, he was Senior Director of Operations from 2013 to 2015, and Program Director from 1994 to 2013.
Niall Norton, General Manager — Networking Software Division,
Niall Norton was appointed as a General Manager in Amdocs Technology division responsible for Network Software in April 2021, following the acquisition of Openet by Amdocs in August 2020. Niall served as Chief Executive Officer and Board member for Openet Telecom since 2006. Prior to Openet, he served as Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary of Telefónica. He holds a degree in Commerce from University College, Dublin, is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and has a Certificate in Management Excellence from Harvard Business School. Niall was recognised as one of the 100 influential people in Telecoms by Global Telecoms Business in 2017, and the ITLG “Silicon Valley 50” Top Irish and Irish-American Tech Executives in 2014. During his tenure as Openet the company has been recognised by winning Deloitte Best Managed Companies Awards 2017, the European Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2013 (TECHTOUR), the Irish Software Association Company of the Year 2012 and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 (Ireland).
Tom O’Brien, Managing Director,
Tom is Managing Director of Nephin Energy. He has over 20 years’ experience in the energy industry including over 10 years in the Projects & Energy Department of one of Ireland’s leading law firms, focusing on renewable energy, (inc. Ireland’s first on and offshore windfarms) large scale real estate and infrastructure projects. Since then Tom has held senior executive roles at a number of Irish companies, including two Irish Plc’s. Tom’s prior experience includes working at C-Suite level at Providence Resources plc, Ireland’s most active oil and gas exploration company and Malin Corporation plc a global life sciences investment company, where he worked on the investment management side of the business including sitting on the board of investee companies for Malin. Tom was senior adviser and project lead in Ireland for CPPIB’s $1.23 billion acquisition of Shell’s interest in the Corrib Gas Field. He was subsequently asked by CPPIB to build out and lead the company that would eventually own CPPIB’s interest in the field, Nephin Energy. Nephin Energy is now Ireland’s largest domestic producer of natural gas. Tom has mentored on the Irish Stock Exchange’s #IPOready leadership programme which is designed to help ambitious Irish companies prepare for different types of strategic funding options, including going public. Tom is a regular contributor to energy policy debate in Ireland. He holds an LLB from University College Cork, an LLM from University College London and a Diploma in Finance from University College Dublin.
Michael OLeary, Group CEO,
Michael O’Leary is chief executive of the low cost airline Ryanair. Often accused of PR spin, he regularly makes the headlines. O’Leary has earned a fiery reputation for his maverick and no-nonsense management style based entirely on delivering results, which he has succeeded in doing since he took the helm in 1994. Michael has served as a Director of Ryanair DAC since 1988 and a Director of Ryanair Holdings since 1996. Michael was appointed CEO of Ryanair in 1994 and Group CEO in April 2019, having previously served as CFO since 1988. Michael O’Leary has served as a director of Ryanair since 1988 and a director of Ryanair Holdings since July 1996. He was appointed chief executive officer of Ryanair in 1994.
Anne O’Leary, CEO & Chair,
Anne O’ Leary is the CEO of Vodafone Ireland, a role she has held since 2013. Prior to that she was the Vodafone Business Director (2008-2013). Anne joined Vodafone from BT Ireland where she was the managing director from 2002 to 2008. Previously she held various senior executive roles at ESAT Telecoms, Golden Pages Advertising and Reuters London. Anne is recognised as a purpose-led leader in the Irish telecommunications market driven by her focus on technology innovation, diversity and inclusion, culture, digital transformation, customer service, CSR, sport and the role of technology for good in society. This has resulted in Vodafone Ireland outperforming its peers in a highly competitive market and enjoying a premium market position in the consumer and business segments. Anne has received external recognition for her leadership and was awarded the UCC/IMI Life Fellowship Award 2019, The Outstanding Business Leader Award 2019 (Cork Chamber of Commerce), the Business and Finance Business Person of the Year 2019 and second most influential Irish leader on social media and LinkedIn in 2020. Anne was the chairperson of Goal International Charity, is a board member of the Vodafone Ireland Foundation and was president of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce (2017/18), where she continues to serve as a council member. She is also a board member of IBEC and since 2018, the Vodacom Group Board since January 2021, and to the board of Greencore plc since February 2021. Anne is an advisor to the Irish Minister of State – balance for a better business review group, and a founding board member of the Ludgate Hub, a rural regeneration project.
Tony O’Reilly, Founder & CEO,
Tony O’Reilly is CEO and a Founder of dCarbonX. A graduate of Brown University, Tony has 30 years C-suite experience ranging from large, multi-site international businesses to start-ups in industries ranging from oil and gas exploration to mining, to consumer media and luxury goods, to environmental technology and financial services. As founder and CEO of Providence Resources Plc, Tony led the Company into major commercial transactions with leading energy players including ExxonMobil, Eni, Petronas, Total, Chevron and Chrysaor. Prior to Providence, Tony was the CEO of Wedgwood and prior to that was Chairman and CEO of ARCON. Tony was also co-founder of two start-ups, Zenergy and Lockwood, which were respectively involved in high temperature superconductivity (HTS) technology and funds management.
Declan O’Rourke, Chief Executive Officer,
Aviva Insurance Ireland
Declan O’Rourke has been the Chief Executive Officer of Aviva Insurance Ireland DAC since September 2020.
Prior to joining Aviva, Declan was General Manager at AIG Ireland, a role he held for eight years. He was with AIG for 26 years where he held a number of senior management roles both in Ireland and internationally. He trained as a chartered accountants with Coopers & Lybrand, now PwC.