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.
Louise Phelan, CEO,
Phelan Energy Group
CEO of Phelan Energy Group Ltd, an independent solar power producer that brings low cost clean solar PV power to future generations. The team comprising of over 100 specialists delivering affordable, rapidly deployable, and sustainable clean energy worldwide. Currently operating in over 15 international markets from development to operation. Previously Louise spent 13 years as Vice President for International Payments for PayPal, the world’s leading online payment Company, with over 300 million active accounts. Successful in taking a large performance team from 200 people to 3000 people, across multiple geographies and established green field sites in Berlin, San Paulo, Chandler and Dundalk. Louise has delivered outstanding results for PayPal, leading a global team that processed 7.8 billion payments worth US$451billion, supporting 125 markets in Continental Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Prior to PayPal Louise spent 16 years with General Electric in various leadership roles and held several leadership positions in General Electric, in the areas of compliance, credit, sales and risk assessment & customer service. Louise started her career in James Crean Mars Distribution Limited. Louise is a Senior Non-Executive Director of Ryanair.
Dalton Philips, CEO,
Dalton Philips has a wide variety of executive-level experience working at Walmart, Loblaw, The Boston Consulting Group, and time as CEO of both Brown Thomas and Morrisons Supermarkets. Dalton joined daa plc as CEO in 2017. At daa, Dalton and his team have been focussed on returning both Dublin and Cork Airport to growth, including the construction of the first new major runway in Europe in a generation which will open in Dublin Airport in August 2022 , whilst in parallel expanding daa’s growing International business where they currently operate in 15 countries across the globe.
John Power, CEO & Founder,
Galway MedTech firm Aerogen, is the world leader in Acute Care aerosol drug delivery, employing almost 400 people between its HQ in Ireland and Commercial and Clinical Support teams across Europe, Middle East, North America, LATAM and Asia. The company’s multi-award winning products are used in over 75 countries around the globe and to-date more than 13 million Acute Care patients from neonatal through to adult have benefitted from Aerogen’s market leading aerosol drug delivery technology.
Mary Quaney, CEO,
Mainstream Renewable Power
Mary was appointed Group Chief Executive Officer in August 2020. She joined Mainstream in 2009 and she held the role of Group Chief Financial Officer since 2017.
Mary has graduate and post-graduate qualifications from UCD and is a Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) and Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA). She is an advocate and spokesperson on gender diversity and participated as a mentor for the Global Wind Energy Council’s (GWEC) Women in Wind programme in 2019.
Prior to joining Mainstream, Mary held senior-level positions in finance and corporate tax in PricewaterhouseCoopers and Trinity Biotech Plc.
Mainstream Renewable Power is a leading pure-play renewable energy company, with wind and solar assets across global markets, including in Latin America, Africa, and Asia-Pacific. Mainstream is one of the most successful developers of gigawatt-scale renewables platforms, across onshore wind, offshore wind, and solar power generation. It has successfully delivered 6.5 GW of wind and solar generation assets to financial close-ready. In May 2021, Aker Horizons acquired a 75% equity stake in the company, accelerating its plans to deliver its high-quality pipeline of over 16 gigawatts of clean energy.
Mainstream has raised more than EUR3.0bn in project finance to date and employs more than 420 people across five continents.
Maura Quinn, CEO,
Institute of Directors in Ireland (Iod Ireland)
Maura Quinn CDir is Chief Executive of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Ireland and a Chartered Director. Maura is responsible for leading the strategic direction of IoD Ireland, Irelands leading C -suite representative and governance body, with a strong track record of delivering year on year results. She was appointed Chief Executive in April 2008 and will be stepping down from the role in June 2022. She has over 14 years diverse board experience across a variety of sectors.
Ger Rabbette, Group CEO,
Ger Rabbette, an industry veteran, joined the team at Uniphar in 2010 coming from Celesio, where he was Managing Director of Movianto and Head of Celesio Manufacturing Solutions. He is a Chartered Accountant by training and has held a range of senior positions in supply chain with Cahill May Roberts and the wider Celesio Group. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2010. Under the leadership of Mr. Rabbette, Uniphar has diversified into higher margin commercial services, which set the scene for the company’s IPO in July of this year, when it generated €135m.
Paul Rellis, Group CEO,
The Viatel Group
After graduating with an Accounting degree from Waterford Institute of Technology in 1988, Paul Rellis began his extensive career in the United States as an internal auditor for Coca-Cola in 1992. In 1995, Rellis worked as the Finished Products manager for Coca-Cola in Germany. In 2000, Rellis worked as the Finance Director for Microsoft in Ireland. In 2005, he worked at the EMEA Operations Center for Microsoft. Rellis became the President of the American Chamber of Commerce in 2008 before becoming the CEO of Microsoft for Microsoft in Ireland. In 2013, Rellis accepted the position of president of the Irish Business Employers Confederation. In 2016, Rellis became CEO of Microsoft in Norway before becoming the chief Operations Officer for Microsoft in Western Europe. In 2018, Rellis joined the Senior Advisory team at Chirisa Capital Management. That same year, he became a part of the group CEO at Digiweb and Viatel Ireland.
Mark Roden, Founder & CEO,
Mark founded Ding in 2006 to enable foreign workers abroad to instantly recharge mobile phones of family and friends back home. Today he is Chief Executive and has been instrumental in the global expansion of the business, which today reaches six billion phones. Prior to setting up Ding, Mark founded easycash, which became the country’s largest independent cash ATM operator and was acquired by RBS in 2004. In 1991, Mark helped Denis O’Brien establish Esat Telecom, which listed on NASDAQ in 1997, and was acquired by BT in 2000. In October 2014, Mark was announced as overall winner in EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year in Ireland. In 2019, Mark also became a founding Board member of endeavor.org.
Cecilia Ronan, Managing Director & CEO,
Cecilia Ronan was appointed the CEO for Citibank Europe Plc (CEP) in February 2020. In her role as CEO, Cecilia is responsible for delivery of the strategy, robust governance, end to end risk management, prudent financial management and conduct and culture for CEP. CEP employs over 11,500 people in Europe. Cecilia has also been Citi Country Officer for Ireland since March 2018, where she leads the US banking giant’s 2,500 employees, one of the largest employers in the IFSC. Citibank Europe Plc is headquartered in Dublin and responsible for the group’s banking activities across 22 EU countries.
Edmond Scanlon, Group CEO & Executive Director,
Edmond Scanlon is Chief Executive of Kerry Group, the world’s leading taste and nutrition company serving the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. Edmond joined Kerry’s Graduate Programme in 1996 and since then he has held a range of senior leadership positions across three geographical regions. In October 2017, Edmond was named Kerry Group’s CEO and Executive Director and provides executive oversight of all areas of the business. Prior to this role, Edmond’s roles included Vice President of Finance, Supply Chain and Operations of Kerry’s Global Flavours Division, Vice President of Mergers & Acquisitions in Kerry Americas and Global President of Kerry’s Applied Health & Nutrition division. In 2012, he was named President of Kerry China and later promoted to CEO of Kerry Asia Pacific, where he led a series of transformational investments, including the establishment of a regional Technology & Innovation Centre in Singapore and new production facilities in six countries. In 2020, Edmond oversaw the launch of the company’s new sustainability strategy, Beyond the Horizon, which guides the company’s ambitious goal of providing sustainable nutrition solutions for over two billion people by 2030.
Martin Shanahan, CEO,
Martin Shanahan is CEO of IDA Ireland. IDA (Industrial Development Agency) is Ireland’s inward investment promotion agency responsible for the attraction and development of foreign investment in Ireland. Martin took up this position on the 1st September 2014. Martin is a board member of IDA Ireland and Chairman of IDA Ireland’s Investment Committee. Martin is an Adjunct Full Professor at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business since September 2019. Prior to his current role, Martin was Chief Executive from 2010 to 2014 of Forfás – Ireland’s policy advisory board for enterprise, trade, science, technology and innovation. Martin has been to the forefront of the development of enterprise and innovation policy in Ireland for many years. Martin is currently a member of Ireland’s COVID Vaccine Taskforce. Martin has been recognised for his leadership in the area of diversity and inclusion and appears on the 2021Outstanding/Yahoo Finance list of the Top 100 Role Models global LGBT+ Executives.
Anne Sheehan, General Manager,
Anne joined Microsoft Ireland as General Manager in October 2021, taking responsibility for the sales, marketing, and services business across the island of Ireland – with a particular focus on delivering business transformation with Microsoft’s customers and partners within the public and private sectors. Prior to joining Microsoft, Anne was Enterprise Director at Vodafone UK, with responsibility for sales, brand, product and solution design, services, and government relations, across multiple lines of business. Before assuming her UK responsibilities, Anne ran Vodafone Ireland’s Enterprise Business in Ireland for four years. Previously, Anne worked at IBM for 16 years across a number of senior positions, including Vice President of Sales and Services for the Nordic Region, Sales and Services Director for IBM Ireland, Head of Channel, and Head of Infrastructure & Technology Services. Anne holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Studies, specialising in Accounting and Finance, and a Graduate Diploma in Computing, both from the University of Limerick. Anne is passionate about partnering with Irish organisations to work together towards an innovative and progressive digital world.”
Gavin Slark, Group CEO,
Gavin Slark joined the Grafton Group and the Board as Chief Executive Designate on 1 April 2011 and was appointed Chief Executive Officer on 1 July 2011. He is currently a Non-Executive Director of Galliford Try Holdings plc, a UK housebuilding and construction group. He was previously Group Chief Executive of BSS Group plc, a leading UK distributor to specialist trades including the plumbing, heating and construction sectors.
Dómhnal Slattery, CEO,
Dómhnal Slattery is the Chief Executive Officer with over 30 years’ experience in the aircraft leasing industry. As CEO, Dómhnal sets the company strategy and commercial objectives and oversees their execution. Dómhnal has built Avolon to be a global leader in aircraft leasing through a period of private equity ownership, a successful listing on the NYSE; and, a take private with Bohai Leasing. In 1989, Dómhnal began his aviation financing career, initially in marketing roles with Guinness Peat Aviation (GPA) and GECAS. In 1994, he established his own aircraft advisory and investment banking services company, International Aviation Management Group (IAMG). In 2001 The Royal Bank of Scotland Group acquired IAMG as the launch platform of RBS Aviation Capital. Dómhnal was Chief Executive of this business from 2001 to 2004 and went on to become Managing Director of the Structured Asset Finance business for the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. He continued as a non-executive Director of RBS Aviation Capital until January 2008.
Tony Smurfit, Group CEO,
Tony Smurfit is the Group Chief Executive Officer of Smurfit Kappa Group plc (SKG), one of the leading providers of paper-based packaging solutions in the world. Today Smurfit Kappa operates in 36 countries globally and employs 48,000 people. The company is currently listed on the Dublin and London Stock Exchanges and has a market capitalisation of approximately €11.8 billion. He is a former Director of Aer Rianta (the Irish Airport Authority which is owned by the Irish Government), the Irish National Stud (an Irish Government owned operation), C&C plc, Ibec (Irish Business Employers Confederation) and currently sits on the Board of ERT (European Round Table of Industry), and CEPI (Confederation of European Paper Industries).
Tony, Padraig, Thomas & Liam Smyth, CEO’s,
The company is run by four brothers, Tony, Padraig, Liam and Thomas Smyth. The company was founded in Claremorris, County Mayo on 23 December 1986.Expansion to central Europe – On 24 April 2018, Smyths acquired Toys “R” Us stores in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. In 2019, all the stores in those countries were re-branded as such to Smyths Toys. Stores and subsidiaries – In total, Smyths Toys operates over 200 stores: 21 stores in Ireland, 115 in the United Kingdom, 68 in Germany, 16 in Austria and 10 in Switzerland. Smyths Toys UK Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of the company.
Susan Spence, President & Co-Founder,
Susan Spence is Co-Founder and CEO of Softco, a global developer of financial process automation software that increases productivity, reduces costs, and ensures that organisations meet compliance obligations. Susan has served as Executive Chairman of Softco since 1990. Headquartered in Dublin, SoftCo has offices in the USA, Ireland, the UK, and Finland. Softco is a Microsoft Gold Partner and it has one million global users across all industry sectors. On Susan’s initiative, SoftCo sponsored the Irish women’s hockey team that won silver in the World Cup in the summer of 2018. Before co-founding SoftCo, Susan held senior management positions with Hewlett Packard, McDonnell Douglas, and Phillips BV.
Michael Stanley, Co-Founder & CEO,
Cairn Homes PLC
Michael Stanley co-founded Cairn Homes plc and was appointed Chief Executive Officer prior to the IPO in June 2015. Michael has a strong pedigree in residential development and the broader property industry. He was previously Chief Executive Officer of Stanley Holdings, a large Irish homebuilder and real estate investment company. Michael has overseen the growth of Cairn, from the deployment of in excess of €900m capital in assembling a high quality residential landbank of housing and apartment sites to the creation of a scalable operating platform which saw Cairn sell their 5,000th new home during 2021 and which will support over 3,000 full-time jobs during 2022. Michael also has extensive experience in the packaging, energy, agritech and healthcare sectors.
Margaret Sweeney, Group CEO & Executive Director,
Irish Residential Properties REIT Plc
Margaret Sweeney is the Chief Executive Officer and Board Director of Irish Residential Properties REIT Plc (I·RES), the leading provider of private residential rental accommodation in Ireland, with assets under management of ca. €1.5bn. She previously held the position of Chief Executive Officer of daa Plc (Dublin Airport Authority) and Postbank Ireland Ltd. She is also a former Director of Audit and Advisory Services at KPMG, a firm she worked with for 15 years. Margaret is currently a non-executive director of Dalata Hotel Group Plc and is Chair of the board of Irish Institutional Property (IIP). Margaret is a member of the Council of Chartered Accountants Ireland, a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland, and a Chartered Director of the Institute of Directors. Margaret is the Chair of the Industry Advisory Board and Adjunct Professor at Dublin City University (DCU) Business School. She has served as a board member to a number of regulated entities and listed companies, including Aer Rianta International Plc, Flughafen Düsseldorf GmbH, Birmingham International Airport and Hamburg Airport. She also served as President of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Governing Body of DCU for fifteen years.
Fernando Vicario, CEO,
Bank Of America Europe DAC
Fernando Vicario is Chief Executive Officer of Bank of America’s lead European banking entity, Bank of America Europe DAC. Fernando Vicario was formerly head of Corporate and Investment Banking for the European Union (EU) and head of Corporate Banking for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), at BofA Securities. Fernando has worked for Bank of America for over 25 years across multiple roles including head of Corporate Banking for Financial Institutions in Europe and Emerging Markets (ex-Asia), head of EMEA Global Product Solutions, head of EMEA and Latin America Corporate Banking and co-head of EMEA Debt Capital Markets and Corporate Banking. Over the years he has led a significant number of growth initiatives across regions in these roles. Fernando sits on the EMEA regional executive committee and the Global Diversity & Inclusion Committee (D&I). He is also co-chair of Bank of America’s EMEA D&I Council and co-leads the EMEA ESG Strategic Council. Fernando is a member of the Board of the ODI (Open Doors Initiative) in Dublin. A native of Pforzheim, Germany and a Spanish national, Fernando obtained a degree in Banking and Finance from the Hochschule fuer Bankwirtschaft/Bankakademie in Frankfurt, Germany.
Brent Warrington, CEO,
Brent Warrington, joined Planet with a highly successful track record leading high growth technology companies, including most recently PayPal, where he was the Global Head of Marketplaces. Prior to that, Brent spent five years as CEO of Hyperwallet, which was acquired by PayPal in 2019. Brent’s other leadership roles have included CEO of SecureNet Payment Systems (acquired by WorldPay) and CEO of FundsXpress (acquired by FirstData). Brent succeeds Patrick Waldron, who is joining the Planet Board of Directors.