Business & Finance 100

Business & Finance CEO 100 Index – Part 4

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

John Power, CEO,

A serial entrepreneur and former European Entrepreneur of the Year. John leads Aerogen, Irelands largest indigenous Med-tech company and the world leader in Acute Care aerosol drug delivery. Aerogen’s award-winning products have to date helped treat over 10 million critically ill patients in more than 80 countries globally. John is recognized as both a technology and business innovator, credited with many commercialized international patents, he is an investor and Board member of several Irish and US based Med-tech companies. A founder faculty member of the National University of Ireland Galway Bio- Innovate program, he has actively mentored many indigenous early stage Irish companies. A Chartered Engineer, he holds an MBA from Oxford Brookes University, is an Adjunct Professor at NUIG where in 2016 in recognition of his contribution to the development of the Irish Medical Device sector John was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate.

Joe Purcell, CEO,

Mincon appointed Joe Purcell as chief executive in 2015; he is also Chief Technical Officer, having worked for the group since graduating as a Mechanical Engineer in 1988. Joe was appointed as Chief Technical Officer for the Mincon Group on his return from Australia in 1998. Mincon manufactures mining tools with manufacturing facilities in Shannon, Ireland; in Benton, Illinois; in Perth, Australia; and in North Bay, Canada. It also has subsidiaries in Ireland, Sweden, USA, Peru, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Namibia, Ghana and West Africa.


John Purdy, Co-founder & CEO,
Ergo Group

John Purdy has been at the helm of Ergo for over 27 years as co-founder and CEO a Cloud Managed Service specialist company, spinning off two companies along the way – Fenergo and FlowForma – and winning the prestigious EY Industry Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2014 and Person of the Year at the 2011 ICT Excellence Awards. Under John’s leadership, Ergo has grown organically and through acquisition (CDSoft, iSite, Micromail) evolving into a €85m business with nearly 500 employees and a culture that reflects his capacity for continuous reinvention. Ergo recently won Microsoft’s Country Partner of the Year for the 5th time, Modern Workplace Place Partner of the Year and Social Impact Partner of the Year in Partnership with Make a Wish foundation.

Maura Quinn, CEO,
Institute of Directors 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 development of IoD Ireland through growing its membership base, expanding the range of services and growing its reputation. She was appointed Chief Executive in April 2008. Maura is also a member of the Rugby Players Ireland board. She previously served as Executive Director of UNICEF Ireland for eleven years.


Ger Rabbette, 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.

Peter Roebben, CEO,
KBC Bank Ireland

Peter Roebben was appointed CEO of KBC Bank Ireland in March 2019. Prior to this he served as Senior General Manager Group Credit Risk at KBC Group’s Head Office in Brussels. Between 2010 and 2017 he served as Senior Managing Director and member of the Executive Committee of K&H Bank & Insurance in Budapest (Hungary), responsible first for Credit Management and Human Resources, and later for the Business Banking Division, comprising Corporate & SME banking, Financial Markets, Leasing and Factoring.

Cecilia Ronan,  CEO, Citibank Europe Plc & Citi Country Officer Ireland
Citi Bank

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 10,000 people in Europe. Cecilia has 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 countries.


Edmond Scanlon, CEO,
Kerry Group

Edmond joined Kerry in 1996 through the graduate programme from University College Cork. He performed several roles before relocating to the US in 2004, including three years in Commercial Financial Management for the Consumer Foods business. On arrival to the US, he was ultimately promoted to VP Operations for the Supply Chain and Financial functions. He was appointed interim chief executive in February 2017, returning to Ireland after 14 years abroad, and officially took over from Stan McCarthy in October of the same year.

Patricia Scanlon, CEO,
SoapBox Labs

Patricia Scanlon is the founder and CEO of SoapBox Labs, the world’s most accurate speech recognition technology for kids. Patricia holds a PhD and has over 20 years experience working in speech recognition, including at Bell Labs and IBM. Patricia has been granted 3 patents, with two pending. She is an acclaimed TEDx speaker, and in 2018 was named one of the World’s “Top 50 Women in Tech” by Forbes. In 2013, inspired by the needs of her oldest child, Patricia envisioned a speech technology to redefine how children acquire literacy. She has successfully raised over €10M in public and private funding to bolster research and product development, and her technical approach has been independently validated by the world’s top three academic authorities on speech recognition. SoapBox Labs is based in Dublin and has a world class team of 30 employees.

Adrian Serle, Group CEO,

Adrian joined Communicorp as Group CEO in January 2017, having spent over 25 years in media, working with market leading brands in highly competitive markets, predominantly in the UK. From 2000, he spent nine years with Emap Plc, where he operated local and national radio stations, going on to lead teams with high profile brands distributed across TV, radio, magazines, and digital platforms. With a strong commercial background, in 2009 he bought into private equity backed Orion Media, where he assumed roles as the Group Commercial Director and Group CEO. He successfully sold the business in 2016, before taking up the role with Communicorp Group.

Martin Shanahan, CEO,

Prior to becoming CEO of IDA, Martin was Chief Executive of Forfás, the Irish government’s policy advisory agency for enterprise, trade, science, technology and innovation. He joined Forfás in 2005 and has been a major figure in the development of enterprise and innovation in Ireland ever since. He has previously held management responsibilities at Fáilte Ireland and private sector firms.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO,
Enterprise Ireland

CEO of Enterprise Ireland since November 2013, Julie held a number of senior public-sector positions constituting a 30-year career in Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland. She has managed the evaluation division and equity portfolio in Enterprise Ireland. In 2015, Julie was appointed to the Investment Committee of the Irish Strategic Investment Fund, part of the National Treasury Management Agency.

Eamonn Sinnott, General Manager,
Intel Ireland

Eamonn Sinnott is the General Manager at Intel Ireland and a Vice President in Intel’s Manufacturing and Operations Group. Eamonn leads almost 5,000 people at the company’s campus in Co. Kildare which produces the parts that enables Intel to power the future of computing and communications globally. The $15Bn of capital invested in Ireland to date makes Intel the largest industrial investment in the history of the Irish state. Eamonn led the establishment of a new Silicon design team which designed the breakthrough low power chip codenamed Quark. Eamonn served as President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland in 2015 and is currently a Vice Chair of the Executive Council of the Brussels based American Chamber of Commerce for the European Union. Eamonn also chairs the Mid-East Regional Action Plan for Jobs implementation committee. Eamonn holds a Bachelor of Science from Trinity College Dublin and an MBA from University College Dublin. He was the proud recipient of the UCD Business Alumnus of the year in 2017. In 2015, Eamonn was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy from Dublin Institute of Technology and in 2019 achieved a Diploma in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors in London. He is a member of the Institute of Directors in Ireland and is a Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineering.

Gavin Slark, CEO,
Grafton Group

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,

Domhnal Slattery

Dómhnal began his career in 1989 in marketing with Guinness Peat Aviation and GECAS. 1994 saw him introduce his own company, International Aviation Management Group (IAMG), which delivered aircraft advice and investment-banking services. He was Chief Executive of RBS Aviation Capital from 2001 to 2004 when RBS acquired IAMG in 2001 and continued to be a non-executive director until January 2008.


Tony Smurfit, CEO,
Smurfit Kappa

Appointed Group Chief Executive of packaging company Smurfit Kappa in 2015, Tony has held several roles within the Group in Europe and the US since joining over 20 years ago. He served as Chief Operating Officer between 2002 and 2015 and Chief Executive of Smurfit Europe between 1999 and 2002.

Michael Stanley, Co-founder & CEO,
Cairn Homes

Michael Stanley co-founded Cairn Homes plc and was appointed Chief Executive Officer prior to the IPO in June 2015. Michael was previously Chief Executive Officer of Stanley Holdings following its demerger from Shannon Homes. The Stanley family founded Shannon Homes in 1970, and the company was one of Ireland’s largest homebuilders in the 1990s and 2000s. Michael restarted his homebuilding operation in 2014 following the economic downturn in Ireland, and with his business partner Alan McIntosh, this provided the operational platform for Cairn Homes plc.

Ronan Stewart, CEO,
Santos Dumont

Ronan first joined Santos Dumont in 2005 and was appointed Chief Executive Officer in January 2016. Ronan has held a number of technical and commercial roles across a diverse portfolio of asset acquisitions and management, responsible for the technical management of over US$6 billion of assets across a full range of aircraft types and involved in over US$10 billion in commercial aircraft transactions.

Margaret Sweeney, CEO,
Irish Residential Properties REIT Plc

Margaret Sweeney is CEO of IRES REIT, listed on Euronext Dublin and Ireland’s largest owner and provider of private residential rental homes, with a property portfolio of over 3700 apartments in Ireland. Since her appointment as CEO in November 2017, IRES’s assets portfolio has grown by over 80% to c.€1.4 billion, including successfully completing during 2019 the largest residential portfolio acquisition of all time in the Irish market. For 2019, IRES REIT’s revenue increased by 23% to €62.1 million and operating earnings grew by 19% to €33.1m. The market value of the company increased by 41% in 2019 in addition to dividend payments. Ms. Sweeney is currently a non-executive director on the board of Dalata Hotel Group plc and Chair of the board of Irish Institutional Property, real estate association. She is also Chair of the Industry Advisory Board for DCU Business School and a Council member of Chartered Accountants Ireland. She has in the past served as a non-executive director on a number of boards in Ireland and internationally. She is a former President of Dublin Chamber of Commerce.

Mark Turley, CEO & Founder,

Mark Turley is founder, chairman and chief executive of ClonBio Group Ltd, a leading producer of plant-based proteins and a serial investor in renewables and biotechnology. The group owns and operates the most advanced, environmentally sustainable, grain processing plant in the world where it produces protein (typically for feed ingredients) and biofuels (typically used in transport) as well as advanced biofuels. In 2020 its ethanol has been used in alcohol-based sanitizers to assist in the fight against Covid 19. Turley is a successful entrepreneur with a proven track record in the renewable, motor and property industries. At the age of 18 he established, and successfully developed, Rathdown Motors into one of Ireland’s leading car dealerships. He subsequently built a property portfolio in Eastern Europe. Since pivoting to renewable energy in 2006, Mark’s focus is now on green investing. Today, the group of companies hold substantial investments in solar, biogas and emerging bio-based products leaving it well positioned for continued growth and innovation.

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)