Business & Finance 100

Business & Finance CEO 100 Index – Part 3

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

Conor McCarthy, Executive Chairman,
Dublin Aerospace

Conor McCarthy has 39 years experience in the airline industry. Conor brings a unique combination of skills, experience and airline knowledge combined with an intimate understanding of both the full service and low fares airline business models. Conor is a co-founder of AirAsia which was established in 2001 with two old 737s and is now Asia’s largest and most successful low-fares airline, with 170 aircraft and 50 million passengers a year. Conor has been leading a dedicated team of aviation professionals to provide airlines with business model reviews of all functions, enhancing profitability by increasing efficiencies and helping to implement recommended goals and develop long term strategy.

Denis McCarthy, CEO,

Denis was appointed CEO of Fexco in January 2015, having previously held the position of Non-Executive Director. Denis has a degree in Mathematics and founded Annadale Technologies, a software development company specialising in the design and development of web-based transaction processing applications. Denis also founded Aviso, a payments software company.

Peter McCarthy, CEO,

Peter has over 30 years’ experience with companies like Actavo, Thornsett, Digicel and Accenture, amongst others and has considerable knowledge in the areas of telecoms (fixed and mobile), utility services, real estate, renewable energy and consumer-facing digital technology. Peter has a demonstrable track record in managing, transforming and growing a diverse number of businesses, and now as Group CEO, has overall responsibility for all Enet business activity including business strategy and operations.

Stephen McCarthy, Founder & CEO,

Stephen McCarthy first introduced large property auctions to Ireland during the recession, and with new venture Bidx1 has moved the auction process online. BidX1 has facilitated the sale of more than €500 million of Irish residential and commercial property in the year since it was founded, and in 2018, private equity house Pollen Street Capital bought a significant stake committing up to £15 million (€16.7 million) of additional financing to help the firm expand into Greek, Spanish and South African markets.

Danny McCoy, CEO,

Danny has been CEO of Ibec since 2009. Prior to this, he was a senior economist at both the Economic and Social Research Institute and the Central Bank of Ireland. He has also lectured in economics at Dublin City University, University College London, University of Oxford and Trinity College Dublin, and has been a consultant for the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. He is currently President of the Statistical & Social Inquiry Society of Ireland.

Francesca McDonagh, Group CEO,
Bank of Ireland

Appointed Group CEO in 2017, Francesca is one of the leading bankers in Europe and has helped advise UK governmental initiatives on encouraging more women to take on top jobs in the banking sector. She worked at HSBC for 20 years where she held top positions in the Middle East, North Africa and Hong Kong, and earned an OBE for services to banking.

Barbara McGrath, Managing Director,

Barbara McGrath is the Managing Director of the Brightwater Group which encompasses Brightwater, Brightwater Executive and Mentors of which she is Chairperson. She is a former Chairperson and Fellow of the Sales Institute of Ireland (3 years) and a former President of the NRF and Honorary Fellow of the NRF 2018. Barbara joined Brightwater in 2005, was appointed to the board in 2011 and became MD of the Group in 2017. In 2018, she was the driving force with two fellow directors in an MBO and is now concentrating on organic growth of Brightwater as well as looking at discrete opportunities to complement the Group platform.

Rosheen McGuckian, CEO,

Appointed CEO of NTR in April 2013, Rosheen has been with the green energy investment firm since 2008 serving as Group Business Development Director and heading up the solar and waste-management projects. Prior to this, she was CEO of Greenstar and of GE Money Ireland, and previously led ESB Power Generation’s business information initiative.

Tina McKenzie, CEO,
Grafton Recruitment

Tina McKenzie returned to Northern Ireland from London in 2013 to set up the Staffline business here. Her ambitious target at the time was to turnover £100m within five years. By the end of 2018 the business had gone through a period of rapid growth and boasted a turnover of £155m. Prior to this she had spent years with Randstad, working in Northern Ireland, Scotland, The Netherlands and most recently London as an International Account Director and Operations Director. In 2018 she was appointed Chair of the NI Policy Forum for the Federation of Small Businesses in Northern Ireland, and is also the the Honorary Consul of Finland for Northern Ireland.

Conor McQuaid, CEO,
Pernod Ricard

Conor McQuaid was announced as CEO and Chairman of Irish Distillers effective from July 2018, during a reshuffling and milestone period of growth for the company in the first half of the year. McQuaid previously served as EVP global business development at the Pernod Ricard. He joined Irish Distillers as regional manager for Southern Europe in 1998, and has worked across the Pernod Ricard conglomerate for almost 20 years.

David McRedmond, CEO,
An Post

McRedmond was appointed to the position of CEO of An Post in October 2016, for a seven-year tenure. The Dubliner previously headed up TV3 and transformed it into a major player in Irish broadcasting, prior to its sale to Liberty Global in 2015. The 2017 annual report showed a jump from losses of €12.4m in 2016 to profits of €8.4m in 2017 (against forecast losses of €61m), and volumes in the relaunched parcel business up 30% on the prior year.

Martin McVicar, CEO,

Martin McVicar co-founded Combilift in 1998. His career in engineering started with a summer job at truck-mounted forklift manufacturers Moffett Engineering, where he was so enthused with the industry that he later became Moffett’s Chief Engineer. He started Combilift when he was 26, in 1998, and the Monaghan company now exports to 85 countries and turned over €240 million in 2018.

Colin Meagle, Group CEO,
Continuum Group

Colin Meagle is Group CEO of the Continuum Group. The Continuum Group consists of six companies (Continuum, APP.Laud, Continuous Ventures, NTES, Tribe Digital and Unknown AI) which provide digital transformation services with complete fulfilment and support for firms across Europe and the US. Colin founded Continuum as an attic start-up in Dublin in 2002 which has since grown into the Grand Prix award-winning Continuum Group.  Colin is also the founding partner of Continuous Ventures, an Irish/US accelerator and investment firm that works with multiple AI start-ups and platforms. Colin was awarded the Smurfit Business School senior executive scholarship for 2019-2020.

Brendan Mooney, CEO,

After studying Computer Science at the Ulster University, Brendan joined Kainos in 1989 as a trainee software engineer, before moving into a number of technical and commercial roles. Brendan was appointed CEO of Kainos in 2001. In addition to his role at Kainos, Brendan has been a Non-Executive Director at a number of technology companies and has previously been appointed to the Board of the Probation Service for Northern Ireland and has served in the Northern Ireland Courts Service as a Lay Magistrate. Brendan holds honorary Doctorates (DSc) from Ulster University for services to business development and from Queen’s University Belfast for services to business and commerce. Brendan was awarded the EY Entrepreneur of the Year for Ireland in 2016 and participated in the World Entrepreneur programme the following year.

Donal Murphy, CEO,

Donal Murphy was appointed CEO of DCC plc in July 2017. From 2004 to 2006 Donal was MD of DCC Technology and was then appointed MD of DCC Energy. Donal joined the Board in December 2008. He gained extensive experience in managing DCC businesses in a number of industry sectors and in leading the acquisition and integration of numerous businesses, particularly in the Energy sector.

Frank Murphy, CEO,

Frank Murphy is founder and CEO of Monex Financial Services, specialists in multi-currency transactions and foreign exchange treasury solutions. A UCC BComm graduate, Frank worked with Deloitte as a Chartered Accountant. With extensive experience in treasury management, he has steered the worldwide growth of Monex since 1997. From its inception, Monex has achieved year-on-year profits. The Company process over 470 million annual transactions from 50 countries, at its Killarney headquarters. In 2019, net profit increased by 33% with a turnover of 59 billion euro. Monex remains a privately owned company. International office locations span UAE, Malaysia, Indonesia, China and USA. Client sectors for Monex solutions include Acquirers, Processors, Airlines, POS and eCommerce Merchants and ATM networks. A motivated, inspirational leader, Frank is focused on continued innovation within the high-performance fintech sector and an ever-changing payment industry. He delivers lectures as a Professor with UCC Business School. Monex provide a UCC scholarship program developed to support Killarney students commencing a business degree. Frank is a frequent contributor and speaker at business, fintech, and media events.

Gene Murtagh, CEO,
Kingspan Group


Appointed to the board in 1999, Gene was previously Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Kingspan from 2003 to 2005. Prior to this he was Managing Director of the Group’s Insulated Panel business and of the Environmental business. He joined Kingspan in 1993 and has a vast knowledge of business as well as building materials and energy efficiency.

Liam Nagle, CEO,

Immersed in many C-suite and varied roles throughout his career, Liam began in finance at Apple which led him to assume a General Manager role at Intel in 1991. This took him into telecoms and optical components with Bay Networks, Nortel Networks and Bookham Technology. Before becoming Chairman & CEO of Norbrook he was CEO of SISK Group and Chairman of SISK Healthcare Group and Sicon Ltd.

Barry Napier, CEO,
Cubic Telecom

Barry has extensive experience and a proven track record in building innovative technology companies, growing revenue and market share. Barry has led 3 mergers and acquisitions, most recently in 2008 when he took over as CEO of Cubic Telecom. Cubic is privately held with over €110 million in funding and has grown to over 170 staff. Prior to that Barry led the acquisition of the Nasdaq listed Brightpoint Inc (Brightpoint Ireland) at the end of 2003 where he steered the company from 15 staff/ $35 million revenue p/a to over 80 staff/$200 million revenue p/a in 2009. Barry also holds board seats on a range of high-growth companies and was recently selected to be the first Irish entrepreneur on the Endeavour Leadership Program (July 2020).

Fergal Naughton, CEO,
Glen Dimplex

Chief Executive Officer of the Glen Dimplex Group Fergal Naughton holds a degree in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (Trinity College Dublin, 1998), a Masters of Science (Stanford University, 2000) and a Masters of Business Administration (Harvard University, 2005). He is Chairman of the Provost’s Council at Trinity College Dublin and was the Founding President of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce.

Tony Neary, General Manager & VP of EMEA Operations,

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.

Cian O’Maidin, CEO & Founder,

Cian O’Maidin is the CEO & Founder of Tramore-based software company NearForm.

Anne O’Leary, CEO,

Anne is responsible for Vodafone’s operations in Ireland and the 2,000-strong workforce. Her experience across some of the world’s biggest telecoms companies solidifies her place on this list. These include Regional Director of Esat Telecoms, Managing Director of BT and Business and Enterprise Director of Vodafone, before becoming CEO.

Tom O’Mahony, CEO,
Origin Enterprises

Tom O’Mahony was appointed CEO of Origin on its formation in 2006. Prior to this he held the role of Chief Operations Officer of IAWS. Tom joined IAWS in 1985 and on its public flotation in 1988 to form IAWS Group plc he held a number of senior management positions and was involved in acquisitions, disposals, business integration and financial control within the Group, until his appointment as CEO of Origin.

Louise Phelan, CEO,
Phelan Energy

Louise spent 13 years as Vice President at PayPal leading and developing the business, 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. Prior to joining PayPal, Louise 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 board member of Ryanair and sits on the board advisory committee of Voxpro.

Dalton Philips, CEO,

Dalton Philips has a wide variety of top-level experience in business including being a former CEO of Brown Thomas and Morrisons Supermarkets. He has worked across retail, innovation, consultancy and transport. He assumed the role of CEO at daa in August 2017. At daa, Dalton and his team have been focussed on providing a world-class customer experience at Dublin and Cork airports, delivering the North Runway at Dublin Airport and expanding daa’s growing business overseas. More recently he has been managing the Group through the COVID-19 crisis and its devastating impact on global aviation.

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)