Business & Finance 100

Business & Finance CEO 100 Index – Part 2

By Business & Finance
16 December 2020

Business & Finance have released the annual CEO 100 Index, recognising the top chief executives leading companies in Ireland in 2020.

Part 1Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

The full list is available to download here

Anne Heraty, CEO,

Anne Heraty is CEO of Cpl Resources plc., a recognised leader in talent solutions, including specialist recruitment, managed services and outsourcing. With an annual turnover in excess of €569.3 million, the company has over 800 permanent employees and has over 13,000 staff under management in customer sites. Her company has grown through both strong organic growth and strategic acquisitions. Anne won the Business & Finance ‘Business Person of the Year 2014’ and her company was ranked as ‘Best Place to Work 2019’ in the large organisation category. Anne is the Chair of judging panel for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in Ireland and former President of IBEC.

Joe Hogan, Founder & CTO,

Joe is Openet’s founder. He has served on the Openet board and as CTO since Openet’s founding in 1999. Joe is the principal architect of Openet’s product portfolio and has over 45 patents in 5G technology. He is responsible for technology innovation in Openet and is also a joint winner of the European Entrepreneur of the Year (2012) and EY Entrepreneur of the Year (2011).

Harry Hughes, CEO,

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.

Colin Hunt, CEO,

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. 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.

Imelda Hurley, CEO,

Appointed Coillte CEO in 2019, Imelda is also a non-executive director of Total Produce plc and IBEC. She was previously CFO of agri-services group, Origin Enterprises plc. Prior to joining Origin, Imelda was based in Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China where she was CFO and Head of Sustainability for PCH International. In addition, she has worked with Greencore Group plc and Arthur Andersen and is a previous non-executive director of Valeo Foods and Ervia.

Peter Jackson, CEO,
Pallas Foods

Peter Jackson took up the reins at Pallas Foods in April 2018, leaving his previous role as Managing Director of Aryzta Food Solutions Europe. He had been with Aryzta since 2013 and prior to this was with Kepak, where he moved through a number of roles, most latterly serving as Chief Executive from 2006-2013.


John Jordan, CEO,

John Jordan is the Chief Executive of Ornua, one of Ireland’s largest dairy exporters, exporting to 110 countries worldwide, with revenues of €2.3bn, and the proud owner of Kerrygold, Ireland’s most successful food brand. With a 25-year career in agribusiness, John has spent 15 years in senior roles with Ornua and was appointed CEO in 2018 to deliver on Ornua’s global strategy of product and geographic diversification. Prior to his appointment as CEO in 2018, John was CEO of Ornua Foods Europe, Middle East Africa and Asia where his role included the regional development of Ornua’s iconic brand portfolio including Kerrygold and Pilgrims Choice. He was also previously CEO at DPI Speciality Foods, based in California, a specialist division of Ornua which is the third largest specialty food wholesaler and distributor in the US. Prior to this, he was Marketing Director of Consumer Foods at Ornua, responsible for the strategic direction and development of Ornua’s portfolio of world-leading premium dairy brands. 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.

Phil Kane, Country Manager,

Phil Kane is Country Manager for Eaton in Ireland. In this role, she is responsible for implementing Eaton’s commercial strategy and managing relationships with Eaton’s key customers and distribution channels in the region. She has years of experience in business to business sales and project management and has comprehensive knowledge of technology solutions having specialised in this area since 2008.

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.


Tommy Kearns, CEO,

Tommy Kearns and Dr. Kevin Collins, Xtremepush

Tommy Kearns is CEO of XtremePush, an enterprise-grade multi-channel engagement, analytics and marketing automation platform. The group helps businesses and brands understand their mobile and web users/customers through deep behavioral insights within their app, on web and through offline insights using the company’s Geo and Beacon Module, and from those insights aid the marketer engage/interact with said insights in a relevant and compelling manner, ensuring they get clear ROI from this business channel.

Séamus Keating, CEO,
First Derivatives

Séamus was appointed as CEO in January 2020. He was first appointed to the First Derivatives 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, CEO,
Musgrave Group

Noel was appointed as CEO of Musgrave Group in January 2020. Prior to his current role, he was Managing Director of Musgrave Wholesale Partners, where he was responsible for Musgrave’s wholesale business across the island of Ireland. He has transformed Musgrave MarketPlace, which has become Ireland’s leading wholesale business for retailers, SMEs and a one-stop shop for the hospitality sector. He has also led the growth of SuperValu and Centra in Northern Ireland and he was responsible for the acquisition of fine food specialist La Rousse Foods. Noel Keeley joined Musgrave in 2005 and was Group HR Director before taking on the role of Managing Director in 2010.

Caroline Keeling, CEO,

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.

Peter Keeling, CEO,

Peter Keeling

Peter founded Diaceutics in 2005. Diaceutics works with the world’s top pharmaceutical companies and utilises its global network of laboratories to help deliver better testing, more efficient diagnosis and more effective treatment for patients. Diaceutics has grown significantly with 60% annual growth year-on-year for the last three years, and currently works with 31 out of the top 35 pharmaceutical companies in the world.

Derek Kehoe, CEO,
BNP Paribas Group

Appointed as CEO for the BNP Paribas Group in the Republic of Ireland in 2015, Derek has over 25 years’ experience in banking, having graduated from UCD with an Honours degree in Economics in 1987. He joined BNP Paribas in 2002, since when he has held a number of senior roles in capital markets in Dublin and London, before most recently being appointed Deputy Head of CIB in April 2014.


Eoin Kellett, Managing Director

Mondelez Ireland

Eoin Kellett was appointed as the Managing Director of Mondelez Ireland 2016. Mr Kellett joined the company in 2010 and was previously Commercial Director. Prior to joining Mondelez, he worked with Premier Foods and RHM. He is also a Trustee of the Cadbury Foundation and a member of the Executive Committee of the Irish Grocers Benevolent Fund.

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.

Tommy Kelly, Founder & CEO,


Tommy Kelly founded eShopWorld in 2010. The company is jointly owned by Mr. Kelly and Asendia, a joint venture between French postal operator, La Poste, and SwissPost. Mr. Kelly is veteran of the logistics industry, he established a successful forwarding and logistics company in 1987, named Two Way Forwarding & Logistics. Mr. Kelly was CEO and Managing Director of Two Way until the company was acquired by Aramex in 2006. Mr. Kelly held the position of CEO at Aramex, Europe & North America until 2014 when he became Chief Executive Officer of eShopWorld.

Christian Kinnear, Managing Director and VP of Sales EMEA,

Christian Kinnear is the Managing Director and Vice President of Sales of EMEA Operations at HubSpot, where he is responsible for driving HubSpot’s growth and leading the overall business from the company’s Dublin office. Christian oversees the go-to-market strategy, including marketing, sales, and services teams, and plays an instrumental role in building HubSpot’s brand to attract both enterprise-level customers and top-tier talent as the company continues to grow and enter new markets. Christian joined HubSpot in October 2015 as Director of Sales EMEA, where he was responsible for coordinating the company’s sales strategy across key regions. Quickly proving his ability to be a great cross-functional leader, Christian has served as HubSpot’s EMEA Managing Director for the last five years, delivering significant growth in its customer base across the region. A tech industry veteran, Christian holds over 20 years of experience scaling and leading complex and multi-functional teams across a variety of geographies, time zones and culturally diverse regions. Before joining HubSpot, Christian had a successful tenure at Google, where he managed the Google for Work sales development team in EMEA, Japan, Asia, and the Pacific. Prior to this role, Christian enjoyed a seven-year career at Oracle, where he managed core elements of Oracle’s Technology and Applications Sales business across the UK and Northern Europe

Chris Kirke, President,
Moy Park

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.

Gareth Lambe, General Manager Ireland,

As a General Manager, Lambe is responsible for the health and success of Facebook’s International Headquarters in Dublin, employing over 1,600 people, with plans to double that figure announced in March of this year. Lambe has held a variety of roles in Facebook since joining in 2011 from his previous role as Director of Merchant Services EMEA at PayPal.

Gordon Lawlor, Managing Director Ireland

Circle K

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.

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.

Paul Marchant, CEO,

Paul has been CEO of Primark since November 2009. He was also the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of New Look Retail Group and served as Managing Director of the Buying, Merchandise and Design divisions. His other major roles include Division Director for Womenswear and Childrenswear at Debenhams and a number of roles at Topman and River Island.

Brendan McAtamney, CEO,
UDG Healthcare

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.


Pat McCann, CEO,
Dalata Hotel Group

With almost 50 years in the hotel industry, Pat kick-started his career in Ryan Hotels plc. in 1969. He left in 1989 to join Jurys Hotel Group plc. as a General Manager of its main Dublin hotel. He became Chief Executive of Jurys in 2000 until his departure in 2006. He became CEO of Dalata in 2007.


Business & Finance CEO 100 (alphabetical by surname):

View part one (B-H)

View part two (H-M)

View part three (M-P)

View part four (P-T)