Business News

Business & Finance launches CEO 100 Index 2023 — Part 1

By Business & Finance
18 October 2023

Business & Finance has released the annual CEO 100 Index, recognising the leading chief executives operating in Ireland in 2023.

Part 1 Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Natasha Adams, Chief Executive Officer: Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland,
Tesco Plc

Natasha is Chief Executive Officer, Tesco Ireland and Northern Ireland. She was appointed in March 2022 and is a member of the Tesco PLC Executive Committee.

Immediately prior to her current role, Adams was Chief People Officer for Tesco Group. She has experience as a Trustee for the Tesco Pension Scheme and is a Trustee for the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD). Adams is also a Non-Executive Director for Berkeley Holdings Group Ltd, Remuneration Committee Chair and also a member of the Nominations Committee. Natasha is a Companion of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, member of the 30% Club and has recently joined Balance for Better Business Review Group.

A Tesco colleague since 1998, Adams has held a number of leadership roles in Retail Operations and People functions, always enjoying the pace of colleagues, customers and suppliers bring to the retail environment.

Craig Arnold, Chief Executive Officer,
Eaton Corporation

Craig Arnold is chairman of the company and chief executive officer of Eaton Corporation. Arnold joined Eaton in 2000 as senior vice president and group executive of the Fluid Power Group. He was vice chairman and chief operating officer of the Industrial Sector until August 2015 and president and chief operating officer until June 2016. He currently serves on the boards of Medtronic plc, University Hospitals Health System and The Business Roundtable. He is a member of The Business Council and serves as a director of The Greater Cleveland Partnership and the United Way of Greater Cleveland. Arnold also serves as an advisory board member of the Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland. Director since 2015.

Joe Barrett, Chief Executive Officer,

Joe has 30 years’ experience in the retail industry and has the key responsibility for the management and development of Applegreen’s retail and food offerings. Joe has led the development of the Group’s partnerships with its international food brand partners since joining in its second year of operation with a strong background in retail and fast moving consumer goods having worked for Tesco and John West Foods. He has a B.Comm and MBA from University College Dublin.

Jim Bergin, Chief Executive Officer,

Since joining Glanbia in 1984, Jim has held numerous Senior Management positions across the business. In 2003, he joined the Ingredients business as Operations Manager before moving to the role of Chief Executive Officer of Glanbia Ingredients Ireland (GII) in 2005. With the formation of Glanbia Ireland in 2017, he took over as CEO. In 2021, Jim was appointed Chief Executive of Glanbia Co-op and oversaw the transaction that saw the Co-op assume full control of the Glanbia Ireland business. In 2022 he was appointed to the governing board of the new technological university (TU) for the South East. He is a former Chairman of the Irish Dairy Industry Association.

Conor Brennan, Chief Executive Officer,
Arachas Corporate Brokers

Conor Brennan is CEO of Ardonagh Europe and Arachas Corporate Brokers, both operating out of Dublin, Ireland.  Previously, he held a number of national and international roles with Zurich Insurance, becoming CEO of Zurich’s Irish business in 2014, leading a major transformation and turnaround programme.  He was appointed CEO of Zurich UK General insurance in 2016.

Conor returned to Ireland in 2018 to lead the Arachas business, with a change in ownership and the expansion of the business through acquisition from 200 employees to the current position. Arachas is the largest insurance broker nationwide with over 700 employees and 18 offices in Ireland. It is part of The Ardonagh Group, is the UK’s largest independent insurance distribution platform and a top 20 broker globally. Providing expert advice and service to our domestic and commercial customers is at the heart of what we do at Arachas.  Arachas provides complex insurance requirements via innovative sector specific schemes and insurance solutions tailored to key industries in the Irish economy, including marine and construction.

Their ethos of giving back to local communities is also central to who they are, and this takes the form of sponsorships and fundraising for charities.  One such charity is Cancer Fund for Children, where Ardonagh and Arachas are working with our colleague, Rory Best to raise much needed funds for a second respite home in Cong, Co. Mayo, for children and their families, from all over Ireland, who are impacted by cancer.

Paul Brown, Chief Executive Officer,
John Sisk & Son

Paul is Chief Executive Officer of John Sisk & Son having previously been Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the UK construction and civils teams. He is also a Contractor Director on the Build UK board. Developed over 25 years in the civils’ industry, Paul has strong leadership skills enabling him to lead effective teams, develop strong and lasting customer relationships.

JD Buckley, Chief Executive Officer,
Sky Ireland

JD Buckley is Chief Executive Officer of Sky Ireland and has led the Irish business since 2012. JD is responsible for Sky’s consumer division, driving the growth of the overall business and leading a team of 1,000 employees in Ireland. Under JD’s leadership, the Sky Ireland business has doubled over the last 8 years with the launch of Sky Broadband, Sky Q, its streaming service, NOW, Sky Glass and, most recently, Sky Stream. JD is also a member of the Sky Group Executive. Prior to joining Sky, JD held senior roles with international mobile operator, Digicel, and was a strategy consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Michael Burke, Chief Executive Officer,
Chanelle Pharma

Chanelle Pharma is Ireland’s largest manufacturer of generic pharmaceuticals for human and animal health. Headquartered in Loughrea, the company exports to 92 countries worldwide. It is one of only two companies in Europe with FDA approval for the manufacture of a veterinary product for the US market. Founded in 1985 by Michael H. Burke with just two employees, today Chanelle Pharma employs over 620 people in Ireland, the UK, Portugal and Jordan. The company’s pioneering approach to product innovation has been a key factor in the company’s substantial growth in recent years. With a strong R&D pipeline, Chanelle is well positioned to continue its expansion into new markets.

Rory Byrne, Chief Executive Officer,
Dole Plc

Rory Byrne assumed the position of Chief Executive Officer of Dole plc on its formation on July 30th, 2021 having served as CEO of Total Produce plc since December 2006. Prior to this, Rory was the Managing Director of the Fyffes General Produce division from 2002 and was appointed to the position of Executive Director in 2006. Rory has extensive experience in the fresh produce industry, having joined Fyffes in 1988 and has held a number of senior positions within Fyffes including Finance Director of the Group’s UK business and Managing Director of its Spanish operations.

Michael Carvill, Managing Director,
Kenmare Resources

Michael has been the Managing Director of Kenmare Resources since 1986. He previously worked as a contracts engineer in Algeria and as a project engineer at Tara Mines, Ireland. Michael holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers of Ireland.

Bob Casey, Managing Director,
Korn Ferry

Bob recruits CEOs, chairmen, non-executive directors and other senior executives across a broad range of industries, with a specialism in consumer, hospitality & retail focused clients. He is also a member of the CEO and Board Practice and the EMEA Sports Practice.

Working with multinationals, both publicly quoted and privately owned, and private equity backed organisations, Mr Casey is uniquely positioned with demonstrable experience in how to align a company’s talent strategy and overall capabilities with  organisational strategy and culture from his time as a chief executive. A former professional rugby player and leader, having represented Leinster, London Irish, Ireland and the Barbarians, Bob is adept at working within a high performance team environment.

Leo Clancy, Chief Executive Officer,
Enterprise Ireland

Leo Clancy is Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Ireland, the state agency that helps Irish companies to start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets. Before being appointed as CEO of Enterprise Ireland, Leo led the Technology, Consumer and Business Services sector as well as IT, Marketing Communications and Corporate Services at IDA Ireland and was a member of the Executive Management team. In that role, Leo worked extensively with global technology and services companies invested in Ireland. Prior to his public sector career, Leo spent 17 years in the telecommunications industry, including in a number of management, technical and engineering roles. He was part of the senior leadership team at e|net, a high-growth Irish wholesale broadband provider and spent his early career at Ericsson, primarily working on global services for deployment of mobile and fixed networks. Leo is a frequent contributor to press interviews, conference speaking and blogs. On behalf of Enterprise Ireland, he is a member of a number of cross-departmental and cross-agency groups.

Vincent Cleary, Managing Director,

Vincent Cleary is managing director of Glenisk, while his brother Gerard is chief financial officer. The Tullamore-based company is a producer of organic dairy and goats’ milk products including yogurt, cream and crème fraiche.

Glenisk was founded in 1987 by their father – Offaly dairy farmer Jack Cleary. Following his death in 1995, Vincent and Gerard took over the business along with their siblings Brian and Mark. The same year, Glenisk converted to organic production. In 1996, the company introduced goats’ milk products, and this part of the business now accounts for 20 per cent of turnover.

The company now employs 60 people directly and works with 50 small family farms across Ireland to source organic cows’ milk and goats’ milk.

Terry Clune, Founder & Chief Executive Officer,

Terry Clune is founder and CEO of CluneTech, a suite of software technology companies providing industry-leading solutions that simplify global business. As CEO, Terry oversees and steers the long-term growth of the group, which comprises TransferMate, Taxback International, Taxback, Sprintax, Visa First and Benamic. Immedis, a leading global payroll platform founded in 2016, was recently acquired by UKG in one of the year’s largest technology deals. In 2010, Terry established TransferMate, the largest company in the group’s portfolio and the world’s leading provider of B2B payments infrastructure as a service. TransferMate completed a funding round in May 2022 to become Ireland’s seventh tech unicorn, with a $1BN valuation, and was named Fintech Company of the Year at the recent National Fintech Awards.

One of Ireland’s most successful entrepreneurs, Terry founded his first company, Taxback, in 1996 while studying economics in Trinity College, Dublin. He is a past winner of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award and the HSBC European Entrepreneur of the Year award. CluneTech employs over 1,300 people and is headquartered in Kilkenny, with 35 offices worldwide.

Lorna Conn, Chief Executive Officer,

Lorna Conn joined Cpl in October 2017 as Chief Financial Officer and was appointed CEO in January 2022. She is a Senior Managing Executive Officer of Cpl’s parent company OUTSOURCING Inc and sits on its Executive Committee, responsible for the Overseas Technology business unit. Lorna has previously held senior roles in other public companies, residing in both Ireland and America during this time. Lorna is a Chartered Director and placed first in Ireland in her Diploma examination. Lorna is a qualified Chartered Accountant and a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland, having trained with Deloitte. Lorna graduated with first class honours in both the Bachelor of Commerce degree in University College Dublin and the Masters in Accounting in the Michael Smurfit Business School. Lorna is passionate about Ireland, as a location to live and to do business in.

Sean Corkery, Chief Executive Officer,

Sean was appointed as Non-Executive Director and Interim Chief Executive Officer of Datalex in April 2019 and was subsequently appointed as the permanent CEO in October 2019. He also served as Acting Chairman between June and November 2019. Sean is a highly experienced executive having held multiple senior positions in the technology industry including Senior Vice President of Global Operations at Dell Inc; COO at Esat Telecom; Vice President of Global Operations at AST / Samsung and Director of Pacific Operations at Apple Inc. Prior to joining Datalex, Sean was Chairman and CEO at Actavo and he is a non-executive director of a number of private companies.

Paul Coulson, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer,
Ardagh Group

Paul Coulson graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a business degree in 1973. He spent five years with Price Waterhouse in London and Dublin and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1978. He then established his own accounting firm before setting up Yeoman International in 1980 and developing it into a significant leasing and structured finance business. In 1998 he became Chairman of the Group and initiated the transformation of Ardagh from a small, single plant operation into a leading global packaging company. Over the last 30 years he has been involved in the creation and development of a number of businesses apart from Yeoman and Ardagh. These include Fanad Fisheries, a leading Irish salmon farming company, and Sterile Technologies. Prior to its sale to Stericycle, Inc. in 2006, Sterile Technologies had been developed into the leading medical waste management company in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Seán Coyle, Group Chief Executive Officer,
Origin Enterprises

Sean Coyle was appointed Group CEO of Origin Enterprises on 1 July 2020. Sean joined Origin in September 2018 as Chief Financial Officer and was appointed to the Board as an Executive Director in October 2018. Sean was previously Group Finance Director of UDG Healthcare plc and also served as Managing Director of UDG’s Healthcare Supply Chain Division. Prior to UDG, Sean was Chief Financial Officer and an Executive Director of Aer Lingus plc. He also spent over ten years in Ryanair Holdings plc, where he held a number of senior management positions. Sean is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland and completed his training with KPMG following his graduation from Trinity College Dublin.

Eamonn Crowley, Chief Executive Officer, 
Permanent TSB

Before joining PTSB as Chief Financial Officer in 2017, Eamonn worked as Chief Financial Officer at Bank Zachodni WBK S.A. (“BZ WBK”), Banco Santander’s publicly listed Polish retail and commercial bank. (BZ WBK was formerly 70% owned by AIB. Banco Santander acquired that AIB stake in 2010.) During his period as CFO, Eamonn executed the merger of BZ WBK with Kredyt Bank to form Poland’s number three bank, placed over 20% of the bank on the Warsaw Stock Exchange through a Euro 1.2bn secondary IPO and led the acquisition of a controlling stake in Poland’s number one Consumer Bank. Prior to joining Santander, Eamonn worked for the AIB Group in a variety of different roles. Eamonn brings to the Board extensive international banking, accounting, corporate treasury and leadership experience with a significant customer focus which is reflected in the Bank’s Purpose, Ambition and Strategy to build trust and grow a sustainable Bank for the longer-term.

Dr Steve Cutler, Chief Executive Officer,

Dr Steve Cutler was appointed Chief Executive Officer of ICON plc in March 2017, having previously served as Chief Operating Officer for three years. Dr Cutler joined ICON as Group President, Clinical Research Services in 2011 and has been a member of the board since November 2015.

As CEO, Dr Cutler has overseen a period of significant progress for ICON, driven by both strong organic growth and a number of strategic acquisitions, including PRA Health Sciences in 2021. ICON is now the world’s leading clinical research organisation, powered by healthcare intelligence, and employs approximately 40,500 people in over 50 countries.

Throughout his career in the clinical research and pharmaceutical industries, Dr Cutler has held numerous senior leadership positions. These include Chief Executive Officer of Kendle, Senior Vice President, Global Project Management at Quintiles (now IQVIA) and Senior Vice President, Clinical, Medical and Regulatory, also at Quintiles. Prior to joining Quintiles, Dr Cutler worked with Sandoz (now Novartis) in Australia and Europe. He holds a B.Sc. and a Ph.D. from the University of Sydney and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Birmingham (UK).

John Delves, Managing Director

A leader that likes to disrupt the status quo and rock revenue growth wherever his career has taken him! Having spent eleven years in Denis O Brien’s Digicel John is no stranger to challenging the status quo and disrupting competitive markets. John’s international business experience and acumen drives a focus on rapid revenue growth coupled with a laser focus on customer centricity. As a leader John truly has the ability to harnesses the power of people within all organisations, he has worked in, both at home and abroad, creating and cultivating high performing teams and individuals. Having returned to Ireland in 2018 John has quickly established himself as a business leader who is open, honest and ready to shake things up! ‘it’s all about the team’

John Donnelly, Country Leader: Ireland,

John Donnelly is the Country Leader for Oracle’s operations in Ireland, who employ over 1,000 people here. Having been appointed to the role in 2017 he is responsible for maximising the success of Oracle and its customers in Ireland. He is a successful senior sales leader with a strong track record of high performance, leadership and team development and has held a number of roles since joining Oracle in 2003. John’s other responsibilities include the leadership of the SMB Technology sales business for Oracle UKI, Benelux & Nordics.

John Donohoe, Founder & Group Chief Executive Officer,
Carne Group

John Donohoe is the Founder & Group CEO of Carne Group. John has over 25 years’ experience in the financial services industry and sits on and chairs the boards of some of the largest and
most complex mutual and hedge funds. John also provides clients and industry peers with considerable expertise on governance, product development, distribution and regulatory developments. He is a thought leader in the ongoing development of hedge fund governance and oversight, as well as the digitisation of asset management.

Established in 2004, Carne makes operations simpler for organisations right across the asset management industry. Expertise in the areas of risk and compliance, due diligence and oversight,
distribution and governance come together on a single platform to radically alter the ease and effectiveness with which asset management organisations are able to function. Carne employs
more than 650 people in 8 countries across the globe and is a governance and substance provider for asset managers with more than $1Tn AuM. Carne’s digital platform, Curator, allows
asset managers to meet their compliance and regulatory obligations in multiple jurisdictions and puts them in full control of their business, reputational, operational and financial risks. Curator
currently supports more than 2,000 Fund structures for managers with $2Tn in AuM.

Robert Finnegan, Chief Executive Officer,
3 Ireland

Robert Finnegan has been Three Ireland’s CEO since the company’s launch in 2005 and in addition to this role, became CEO of Three UK in April of 2020.

Three Ireland & Three UK are owned by renowned multinational conglomerate CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd, which is committed to innovation and technology with diverse businesses employing over 300,000 people in 50 countries across the world.

Three is Ireland’s largest mobile telecommunications provider with 43.5% market share, with its network carrying over half of all mobile data traffic in the country. In the UK, Three has 10.5m customers using 2.5 times more data than the industry average, as well as the UK’s Fastest 5G Network according to Ookla.

As CEO of Three in both countries, Robert is committed to providing its customers with a better connected life through meaningful products, best in class service and a connected network experience.

Robert worked for CK Hutchison (formerly Hutchison Whampoa) in Hong Kong for thirteen years before he joined Three Ireland. There he served as CEO of its beverage division, Watson’s, where he strategically led the development of its water business in China and Europe, building it to market leader position. He also initiated and led the divestiture of Powwow to Nestle for US$545m. Prior to his role as CEO at Watson’s, he held positions as Financial Controller and Finance and Strategic Planning Director at Hutchison for six years.

In addition to Three, Robert is also a non-Executive Director of AMCK, a leader in the Irish aircraft leasing market in Ireland and a CK Hutchison sister company of Three.

A qualified accountant and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Robert has also held senior finance roles at Procter and Gamble and Allied Domecq.

Mark Foley, Group Chief Executive Officer,
EirGrid Plc

Mark Foley joined EirGrid Group as Chief Executive in June 2018, having held the role of Managing Director of Land Solutions/ Coillte Enterprise in Coillte since August 2008 where e he led the development of new businesses in renewable energy, telecommunications, land development and land sales.

Before that, from November 2000 to August 2008, Mark was Director of Capital Programmes at Dublin Airport Authority. In this role he was responsible for master planning, permitting, planning and delivery of c. €1.5bn in airport infrastructure at Dublin, Shannon and Cork airports. Prior to that Mark held a number of senior executive roles with multinationals in the Speciality Chemicals and Electronics sectors over an 18 year career.

Mark has a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering Degree from University College Dublin, a Masters in Industrial Engineering from University College Dublin and has attended Executive development courses in Penn State University and IMD Business School in Lausanne. Mark was recently appointed to the rank of Chevalier in the Ordre national de la Legion d’Honneur by the President of the Republic of France for his role in leading and supporting collaboration between Ireland and France in the field of energy.

Peter Foley, Founder & Chief Executive Officer,

Peter Foley is the CEO and Founder of LetsGetChecked, a global healthcare solutions company that provides the tools to manage health from home through direct access to diagnostic testing, virtual care, and medication delivery for a wide range of health and wellness conditions.

Peter has always been passionate about making healthcare patient-led, and allowing consumers to be part of the diagnostic testing process and not once removed. What sparked the idea for LetsGetChecked was a personal experience which resulted in Peter not having access to diagnostic testing in a time of need.

Prior to LetsGetChecked, Foley worked in a number of consultancy roles, specializing in the fields of healthcare strategy, planning, and facility development, as well as completing a law degree and masters qualification in ICD-10 codin

The purpose of the company is to give people the knowledge that they need to live healthier, happier lives.

Business & Finance CEO 100 (alphabetical by surname):

View part one (A–F)

View part two (F–K)

View part three (K–M)

View part four (M–V)