Business & Finance has released the annual CEO 100 Index, recognising the leading chief executives operating in Ireland in 2022.
Neil Freshwater, Chief Executive Officer,
Zurich Insurance Plc
Neil Freshwater is the CEO of Zurich Insurance plc (ZIP) the main licensed legal entity for all EU based general insurance business of the Zurich Insurance Group, and was appointed to this role in July 2019. ZIP operates from its Head Office in Dublin and through a network of 12 branches throughout Europe, writing c€9bn Gross Written Premium per annum. Neil joined Zurich in 2013 as CFO of Zurich’s UK General Insurance business. Neil was subsequently appointed as the CEO of Zurich Legacy Solutions in 2016 where he was responsible for the strategic management, run-off and disposal of Zurich’s discontinued and non-core portfolios, de-risking legacy exposures, delivering economic and legal finality, and enabling management to focus human and financial resources on Zurich’s core business. Neil is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries with over 30 years of insurance industry experience in a wide variety of roles including UK CFO of Catlin, and in a number of actuarial, finance, change and operational roles at Aviva and Swiss Re. Neil is a graduate of Loughborough University.
Stephen Garvey, Chief Executive Officer
Glenveagh Properties Plc
Stephen Garvey was appointed chief executive officer in August 2019. Stephen is responsible for delivering on the Glenveagh’s vision to create Ireland’s leading and most sustainable homebuilder. Stephen has over 20 years’ experience in the construction and property industry in Ireland. Prior to founding his own successful residential development business, Bridgedale Homes, Stephen worked with a number of Ireland’s largest property developers. From 2014 to 2017, Stephen advised and managed the acquisition of Irish residential development opportunities on behalf of TIO RLF. A co- founder of Glenveagh, Stephen had led the growth and development of Glenveagh since IPO.
Frank Gleeson, President & Chief Executive Officer,
Aramark Northern Europe
Frank Gleeson is President and CEO of Aramark Northern Europe. Aramark is one of the largest integrated providers of food services, facilities management, retail operations, and property services in the region. In his current role, Frank serves as a member of the Executive Leadership Council of Aramark Corporation. He is responsible for operations that span Ireland, the UK, and a Global Offshore business in the North Sea, Middle East, and Mexican Gulf – encompassing a workforce in excess of 15,000 people at any one time. Frank joined Aramark in 2013 from Topaz Energy Group where he was Retail Director. Prior to that, he served in senior leadership positions for Statoil, O’Brien’s Off-Licenses, and began his retail operations career in Xtra-Vision Ireland. Since starting out as a teenager in family restaurant and cafés, Frank has always placed a significant focus on the hospitality and customer-service side of business. He truly believes in the power of terrific customer experience, as well as the importance of on-the-job learning and development. A graduate of the Irish Management Institute, Frank has long been a board member of IBEC, and earlier this year was re-appointed to Government’s Labour Market Advisory Council, chairing its employers’ sub-group. He is a former Chairman of Retail Ireland; a former board member of the National Transport Authority, and was elected Chairman of NACS, the international trade association of convenience stores.
John Goulding, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder,
John Goulding is CEO and co-founder of Workvivo, the employee communications platform designed to engage and connect employees no matter where they work from. John was previously CEO of CoreHR, a global leader in the HR tech space, and Senior Director of Global Support in EMC (now Dell EMC). John founded Workvivo along with his co-founder and CTO Joe Lennon in 2017 to elevate the employee experience for all. Workvivo works with some of the world’s biggest brands to boost retention and bring their workplace culture to life digitally. Workvivo is backed by Tiger Global, Frontline Ventures, Enterprise Ireland and Zoom founder Eric Yuan.
Séamus Hand, Managing Partner,
KPMG in Ireland
Séamus is the Managing Partner of KPMG in Ireland and is a member of KPMG’s Global and EMA boards. Séamus previously was a partner in KPMG’s financial services practice in Ireland and worked with many global and domestic clients in the asset management, aviation, banking and insurance sectors.
Paddy Hayes, Chief Executive Officer,
Paddy Hayes was appointed Chief Executive of ESB in August 2021 and is spearheading ESB’s strategy to reach net zero by 2040. Prior to this, he headed up two of ESB’s main operating divisions as Executive Director of ESB’s Generation & Wholesale Markets business and then as Managing Director of ESB Networks. He joined ESB in 1999 from British Steel to lead the Synergen joint venture between ESB and Statoil. He has is a chartered engineer with a Master’s Degree in Engineering from UCD and an MBA from the University of Warwick, and is a board member of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).
Jason Hawkins, Chief Executive Officer,
Since January 2018, Jason Hawkins has been the Chief Executive Officer and a board member of Carbery Group, a leading international manufacturer of nutritional ingredients, flavours and an award-winning cheese producer. Headquartered in Ballineen, Co. Cork, Carbery is owned by four Irish co-operatives; Bandon, Barryroe, Drinagh and Lisavaird, and employs almost 1000 people across eight locations including Ireland, the UK, the USA, Brazil, Italy, Indonesia and Thailand. Originally from Tralee, Co Kerry, Jason’s previous role was Chief Operating Officer with Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), where he had responsibility for the organisation’s global ingredients business. DFA is a leading global dairy co-operative, based in Kansas, USA. Prior to DFA, Jason had a long and distinguished career with Kerry Group, which he joined as a graduate accountant in 1999, after completing his business degree at the Institute of Technology Tralee. For most of his career, Jason has lived and worked in the United States, holding several leadership positions within the Taste & Nutrition division of Kerry Group, where he was responsible for the vision, strategy and growth of several of Kerry’s businesses in the region. Jason is a qualified accountant with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
Paul Healy, Chief Executive Officer,
Paul is the Chief Executive of Skillnet Ireland, the Irish Government agency dedicated to the development of leading-edge talent for the enterprise sector. He is a respected commentator in the arenas of enterprise and labour market policy, human resource development and public affairs with 20 years’ executive level experience spanning both the semi-State and multinational sectors. Paul is a member of Ireland’s National Skills Council, National Training Fund Advisory Group, the EU Commission Skills for Industry Policy Group and the European Digital SME Alliance.
Margaret Heffernan, Chief Executive Officer,
Margaret Heffernan is the CEO of Dunnes Stores. In 1956, Margaret left school and started working at Dunnes Clothing Shop, her family business, at the age of 14. In 1988, Heffernan founded the People In Need Trust. Since its founding, the trust has raised millions of euro in support of local charity work. Her charity work has earned her the City of Dublin’s Millennium Award in 1988 as well as the Lord Mayor’s Award in 1989. She became the director of the store in 1964. By 1995, Heffernan was appointed as head of all of the Dunnes Stores. In 2007, Heffernan was given an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the National University of Ireland. She also received an honorary degree from University College Dublin.
Aongus Hegarty, President, International Markets, Dell Technologies,
Aongus serves as President of Dell Technologies for International Markets. He has overall responsibility for business and strategy across these global regions, leading a team of over 50,000 sales, solutions and services professionals enabling customers to transform their business for the next data decade. Aongus has over three decades experience in technology and is a twenty-year veteran of Dell Technologies, having held several President, VP & GM roles across the business.
Aongus previously held senior general management, operations, manufacturing and engineering leadership positions with Modus Media, RR Donnelley and Digital Equipment Corporation. Aongus was recognised as one of the Top 10 Diversity Champions in The Economist Global Diversity List and was invited by the Irish Government to join the Better Balance for Better Business Review Group to recommend how more women can be involved in top level decision making in Ireland. Internally Aongus co-leads the Global Women’s Network, is a member of the Global Diversity Council, chaired by Michael Dell, and co-leads the company’s CIO Advisory Boards.
Since 2017 Aongus has been Chairman of the Executive Council for the American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union; the council helps ensure a growth-oriented business and investment climate in Europe. He is also a member of the Special Olympics Ireland Council of Patrons. Aongus is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and holds a bachelor’s degree in business studies from the University of Limerick where he was presented with the Alumni Award for Outstanding Achievement in 2013. In 2019 Aongus received a prestigious life fellowship from the Irish Management Institute (IMI), joining a list of IMI Fellows who are helping to transform the global business environment.
Paul Henderson, Chief Executive Officer,
Paul’s career has always been in Irish media. Growing up in Dublin, Paul’s parents ran a grocery shop, he grew up fascinated by Irish media, particularly Irish people’s obsession with death notices. He vividly remembers key dates across the Irish media landscape ncluding the furore when The Herald newspaper changed from broadsheet to tabloid in 1982 (before he was a teenager). One of his very first jobs was delivering newspapers unaware that twenty-five years later he would be running one of Ireland’s largest publishers. Paul started his formal media career with The Irish Star where he later became Director of Sales. He also worked as the Sales Manager at TV3 (now Virgin Media) where he was part of the launch team a before independent television first went to air in Ireland. Since September 2009, Paul has been CEO of DMG Media, the home of some of Ireland’s best known media brands: The Irish Daily Mail, The Irish Mail on Sunday, EVOKE, RollerCoaster.ie, Extra.ie, OneFabDay.com and Mail Online.
Peter Hendrick, Chief Executive Officer,
National Broadband Ireland
Peter Hendrick is the CEO of NBI, taking charge of one of the most ambitious telecoms projects in the world, ending the digital divide in Ireland. Having worked on the project since 2015, Peter successfully led NBI through the competitive bid for the National Broadband Plan as the Managing Bid Director, heading up a team of some of the best and brightest minds in telecoms. Peter holds 20 years of telecom, engineering, sales & executive experience and has held senior roles in Siemens and enet. In 2006, he co-founded AirSpeed Telecom, serving as the company’s Chief Operations Officer until 2015, helping build it into a national telecoms business focused on delivering managed telecommunication services to both retail and wholesale customers across Ireland. Following Granahan McCourt’s acquisition of AirSpeed Telecom in 2014, Peter led the integration of the company with enet Wholesale networks. Peter has received a number of industry awards during his career, including a top ten placing in the Deloitte Fast 50 Technology Awards and the Irish Times Tech 50. He holds an honours degree in Electrical Engineering, Telecommunications and Electronics from Dublin Institute of Technology and has continued to support the institute in the role of external examiner covering both electronic and electrical engineering disciplines.
Mark Hendricks, Chief Executive Officer,
Mark is a healthcare information technology professional with over 25 years of operational, technical, consultative sales, and sales management experience for care providers, information technology solution providers, and healthcare consultancies. He has demonstrated success and proven results to solve healthcare operational challenges and business issues by designing, selling, and delivering solutions that include the appropriate mix of technology, applications, operational redesign, and change management.
Neil Hosty, Chief Executive Officer,
Neil Hosty was appointed CEO of Fexco Group, a pioneer, and a leader in innovative fintech solutions in January 2022. He is responsible for driving Fexco’s technology and innovation led growth agenda across its core business areas of Fintech, Payments and Business Solutions, and into new sectors such as sustainability.
Harry Hughes, Chief Executive Officer,
Harry is CEO of Portwest, a world-leading protective wear company owned and operated by brothers Cathal, Harry and Owen Hughes. Harry studied and worked for seven years in the UK and then returned to the family business in 1978. Portwest operate in over 130 countries. Harry won the EY Entrepreneur of the Year international category and the overall award in 2017.
Devan Hughes, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer,
Devan Hughes is CEO & Co-Founder of buymie, the same-day, big-basket grocery delivery provider. By using local personal shoppers picking from local stores, the buymie grocery delivery service has been delighting time-poor customers in Ireland and the UK since launching in 2016. Through buymie’s innovative real-time order bundling algorithm, the company saved 100,000 trips in 2022 by reducing the number of individual consumer car trips for groceries. buymie users have no limitation on basket size and have access to whatever products are in a customer’s local store – approximately 20,000 – 35,000 SKUs. A personal shopper is then appointed, allowing for seamless communication during the shopping process, and ensuring the best substitutions and highest quality fresh produce are selected. buymie employs 70 employees across its Dublin, London and Armenian offices and boasts a network of circa 400 personal shoppers. It is partnered with major retailers such as; Dunnes Stores and Lidl in Ireland, and Asda and Co-Op in the UK. Buymie is currently available in six cities; Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick in Ireland, and Bristol and Leeds in the UK. As of 2022, 1 in 8 households in Dublin have used the buymie app for grocery delivery.
Colin Hunt, Chief Executive Officer,
AIB Group Plc
In March 2019, Colin was appointed Chief Executive Officer of AIB and an Executive Director on the AIB Board. He joined AIB in August 2016 as Managing Director, Wholesale, Institutional & Corporate Banking Division and immediately became a member of the executive committee. Prior to joining AIB, he was Managing Director at Macquarie Capital where he led the development of its business in Ireland. Previously, he was a Special Policy Adviser at the Departments of Transport and Finance, Research Director and Chief Economist at Goodbody Stockbrokers, Head of Trading Research and Senior Economist at Bank of Ireland Group Treasury and a country risk analyst at NatWest. He has a Phd in Economics from Trinity College, Dublin and degrees in Commerce & Economics from University College, Cork. He served as a Non-Executive Director of Aer Lingus Group plc from 2008 to 2014. Colin is also a Director of the Ireland Funds, Ireland Chapter.
Imelda Hurley, Chief Executive Officer,
Imelda Hurley has extensive executive and non-executive experience in public company, state owned, private equity and venture capital backed businesses. She has built that experience in multiple geographies including Ireland, UK, Eastern Europe, and Asia, and across a variety of sectors including forestry, agriculture, food, technology related product development and supply chain management. Imelda is the CEO at Coillte, Ireland’s state forestry company which is responsible for managing 440,000 hectares of primarily forested lands. Coillte is the nation’s largest forester and producer of certified wood, a natural, renewable, and sustainable resource. Coillte is also the largest provider of outdoor recreation space in Ireland. It enables wind-energy on the estate, processes forestry by-products and undertakes nature rehabilitation projects of scale.
Imelda’s focus is on delivering a sustainable future for all by ensuring that Coillte balances and delivers the multiple benefits of forestry, including forests for climate, for wood, for nature and for people. She is also a non-executive director at Dole plc and was recently announced as the president of Ibec. In addition, she is a patron of Chapter Zero Ireland, a community of non-executive directors that lead Irish boardroom discussions on the impacts of climate change. Prior to joining Coillte,
Imelda was an executive director and CFO with agri-services group Origin Enterprises plc and, earlier in her career, she held a range of senior leadership positions at PCH International and Greencore Group plc. She has also previously served as a non-executive director of Total Produce plc, Valeo Foods and Ervia. Imelda is a graduate of University of Limerick, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and an alumna of Harvard Business School.
Peter Jackson, Chief Executive Officer
Prior to becoming Chief Executive Officer, of Flutter Entertainment, Peter was Chief Executive Officer of Worldpay UK, an operating division of Worldpay Group plc. He was formerly Chief Executive Officer of Travelex Group. He then joined Banco Santander as Head of Global Innovation and a Director of Santander UK Group Holdings plc. Peter’s previous experience includes senior positions at Lloyds and Halifax Bank of Scotland, as well as time at McKinsey & Company. He holds an MEng degree. He is the Non-Executive Director of Deliveroo plc and has been Non-Executive Director of Betfair Group plc since April 2013 and Paddy Power Betfair plc since February 2016.
John Jordan, Chief Executive Officer,
John Jordan is the Chief Executive of Ornua, Ireland’s largest dairy exporter, exporting to 110 countries worldwide, and the owner of Ireland’s only €1 billion food brand, Kerrygold. With a 25-year career in agribusiness, John was appointed CEO in 2018 and has overseen significant growth in sales and value returned to shareholders, whilst also steering Ornua through a significant Governance restructure. Prior to his appointment, John held a number of senior roles in the business including CEO of DPI Specialty Foods, a division of Ornua which is the third largest specialty food wholesaler and distributor in the US. John is a graduate of Biotechnology from Dublin City University, with an M.Sc. from UCD and an MBA from Trinity College Dublin. John also serves on the Board of Ornua Co-Op, Nextwave Distribution and is a member of the Advisory Board of Dublin City University Business School.
Jim Joyce, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder,
Jim co-founded HealthBeacon with Kieran Daly in 2013. Prior to HealthBeacon, Jim was the CEO of Point of Care Health Services which he established and sold to Uniphar plc. Jim has held senior positions with Schering-Plough (now Merck & Co. Inc,) as General Manager of Ireland and Director of Finance for Europe, Middle East, Canada and the United States. Prior to the pharmaceutical industry Jim worked in financial services for investment firms of Smith Barney, Brown Brothers Harriman and AG-Edwards. Jim holds a BA in Economics from Fordham University and an MBA from University College Dublin.
Siobhán Talbot, Group Managing Director & Executive Director,
Siobhán Talbot was appointed as Group Managing Director of Glanbia on 12 November 2013, having been appointed Group Managing Director Designate on 1 June 2013. She was previously Group Finance Director and her role encompassed responsibility for Group strategic planning. She has been a member of the Group Operating Executive since 2000 and the Board since 2009 and has held a number of senior positions since she joined the Group in 1992. She is also a Director of the Irish Business Employers’ Confederation (IBEC) and was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of CRH plc effective 1 December 2018. Prior to joining Glanbia, she worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Dublin and Sydney. A Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland, Siobhán graduated from University College Dublin with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and Diploma in Professional Accounting. She is Non-Executive Director of CRH plc and Director of the Irish Business Employers’ Confederation (IBEC).
Tommy Kearns, Chief Executive Officer,
Tommy Kearns is CEO of Xtremepush, a global customer engagement, personalisation, and data platform. It provides brands with rich engagement capabilities across multiple channels including email, website, mobile app, SMS and social messengers. The platform also empowers brands to unify their data for a true Single Customer View, and combines enterprise-grade analytics with a full suite of campaign optimisation tools.
Séamus Keating, Chief Executive Officer,
Séamus was appointed as CEO in January 2020. He was first appointed to the FD Technologies Board as an independent Non-Executive Director in December 2012 and was appointed Non-Executive Chairman in July 2013. He has over 20 years’ experience in the global technology sector in finance and operational roles and has held a number of non-executive roles since 2012. He was chief financial officer of Logica plc from 2002 until 2010 when he became Chief Operating Officer and head of its Benelux operations. Prior to his role at Logica plc, he worked for the Olivetti Group in senior finance roles in the UK and Italy.
Noel Keeley, Group Chief Executive Officer,
Noel Keeley is group CEO of Musgrave, and Irish food retail, wholesale and foodservice company with 11 market leading brands across the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Spain including SuperValu, Centra, Frank and Honest, Donnybrook Fair and Musgrave MarketPlace. Noel has over 30 years’ experience in senior and executive leadership roles in both private and public sector organisations. He has previously held the positions of Managing Director for Musgrave Wholesale Partners and Group HR Director with Musgrave. Prior to joining Musgrave in 2005 Noel was Vice President for Human Resources with University College Cork. He has also held a number of senior leadership roles with the Canadian Government in Northern Canada where he lived and worked for 10 years. Noel holds an MBA from the Smith School of Business, Queens University, Canada.
Business & Finance CEO 100 (alphabetical by surname):