CMO 100

CMO 100 Index Announced – Part 4

By Business & Finance
25 May 2021

Business & Finance release the annual CMO 100 Index recognising the top marketing professionals operating in Ireland.

Part 1Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

The full list is available to download here

Marcus O’Buachalla, Head of Communications

Leinster Rugby

Having graduated from UCD with a Business and Legal Studies degree in 2003, Marcus qualified as a solicitor in 2007 with William Fry but then moved to PR with Teneo (formerly Pembroke Communications) in 2009. As an Account Director, he represented clients such as the GAA, LGFA, Bord Gáis Energy, Under Armour and the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland. He joined Leinster Rugby in 2014 to lead their communications team and has been working as a senior member of the Commercial and Marketing Team ever since. He completed a Diploma in Advanced Management Performance in the UCD Michael Smurfit Business School in 2020.

Sean O’Connor, Marketing Director


Sean is an accomplished leader who believes in the power of coaching and is obsessed with growth and team culture. He is fascinated by the future and is optimistic that the best is always yet to come and actively seeks opportunities to lead complex projects where he can collaborate and compete with a team. He has a diverse background, working with companies at all stages and sizes, from startups to enterprises across both North America and Europe. He calls on deep experience and networks in the travel, sport, technology, beverage, media, and performance advertising industries. He is an active advisor in multiple startup companies focused on e-commerce, hospitality and omnichannel retail. He lives in Dalkey where is actively involved in the community and volunteers through the local schools and clubs.

Niamh O’Driscoll, Head of Brand & Marketing

Virgin Media 

Niamh O’Driscoll is the Head of Brand & Marketing at Virgin Media, Ireland’s leading entertainment and broadcast company. Niamh is an experienced Marketer with strong commercial acumen and over 20 years of experience in B2C and B2B sectors. She started her career in tech in a software company and then moved into telecommunications firstly with Meteor as Marketing Communications Manager, then to O2 as a consultant working in the Consumer marketing team and then to UPC as part of the core team to rebrand the company to Virgin Media where she now heads up the brand and marketing team.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in European Studies from UCC, a Postgraduate Diploma from UCD Smurfit Business School and a Diploma in Digital Marketing from the Digital Marketing Institute.

Conor O’Donovan, Head of Global Marketing and Corporate Communications

Enterprise Ireland

Conor leads Global Marketing and Corporate Communications at Enterprise Ireland, the Irish Government’s trade and innovation agency. Enterprise Ireland clients employ over 220,000 people across Ireland. The agency was ranked #1 VC in the world for early-stage investment by Pitchbook in 2020. Conor works with the Enterprise Ireland CEO and management team to help Irish companies become more competitive, innovative and internationally diversified to build scale and achieve their global ambitions. Conor also leads national communications and marketing for the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) network which supports early-stage entrepreneurs and businesses across Ireland. Conor previously was Director of Policy & Communications at the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) and has an MBA from UCD Smurfit Graduate Business School.

Siobhan O’Dwyer, Global Head of Marketing


With a background in Marketing and Business Management, Siobhan created her own company called Threesixty, an award-winning specialist B2B marketing and branding consultancy that has evolved to become a B2B agency with a focus on food, cleantech and science. 21 years later she is the Global Head of Marketing from Kingspan Group and feels very fortunate to enjoy the rich experience of working in diverse, multi-cultural teams.


Anne O’Hagan, EMEA Marketing Director


Anne O’Hagan is a digital marketing director in the B2B technology industry, driving and measuring demand generation campaigns across multiple channels and audiences to generate inbound sourced pipeline and opportunities. Her current role is as EMEA Marketing Manager with Oracle. She has been with the organisation for over two years and has been in the world of marketing since 1989 with Acer International based in Taiwan and France and the UK.


Des O’Mahony, Communications Director


Experienced marketer with a passion for achieving winning outcomes for leading brands- this is Des O’Mahony. With almost three decades of Marketing experience, Des has worked for some major players in Ireland, including Aer Lingus, Gateway, Connolly’s Red Mills and Musgraves Retail (now SuperValu)



Brian O’Neill, Head of Communications, Brand, Sponsorship


Brian joined Aviva in August 2018 after 12 years with Friends First Group, most recently as Strategic Marketing Director since 2012, and Head of Investor Relations from 2010 to 2012. Prior to this he was Product & Market Development Director with Prudential Europe. He began his career with Bank of Ireland Lifetime Assurance. Brian’s key responsibilities include public policy and CSR as part of Aviva’s climate strategy.


Catherine O’Toole, Brand Marketing Manager

Littlewoods Ireland

Catherine is a highly creative, customer-centric marketing professional with 12 years’ experience within the retail, FMCG and e-commerce industries. In her role as Brand Marketing Manager at Littlewoods Ireland, she leads a high performing team and oversees the marketing strategy and its implementation for Ireland’s largest pure-play online retailer. She holds an MSc in Marketing Practice from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and has recently completed Marketing Week’s Mini MBA.


Stefano Pappalardo, Head of Digital & Marketing


Stefano is the Head of Digital & Marketing for GCN, Ireland’s national LGBTQ+ press. He joined ahead of its 2017 relaunch and has been instrumental in growing GCN’s digital presence and offering. He is responsible for implementing processes, leading and coordinating all areas of digital, creating and planning high-value content, campaigns and initiatives, including GCN’s award-winning digital festival “In & Out”. He successfully drives content delivery across all digital platforms through strategic marketing plans, operating closely with the editorial, commercial and events teams. He supervises GCN’s website, ensuring its optimisation to deliver a seamless experience for both readers and advertisers. He has also worked on Dublin Pride’s social media strategies.

Áine Plunkett, Lead Marketing Manager

SSE Airtricity

Since taking up her current role as Lead Marketing Manager only three years ago, Aine has repositioned the SSE Airtricity brand in Ireland with “This is Generation Green”, a leading brand and marketing idea that leverages SSE Airtricity’s unique point of difference- proving herself as an invaluable member of the team. Plunkett is a results-driven leader with interpersonal skills and is an expert team build. She thrives in a high-performing and creative work environment.


Aidan Power, Director of Customer, Brand & Marketing

KBC Bank

Aidan has been Director of Marketing and Corporate Affairs at KBC Bank Ireland since June 2012. Aidan is responsible for the overall brand and commercial marketing communications, reputation management, corporate communications and external corporate affairs. Previously he was Head of Marketing at EBS Limited and a Marketing Manager at Musgrave Group. Aidan is a member of the Irish Advertisers Association Council. He is also a Board Director with Enactus Ireland – social entrepreneurship non-profit. Aidan graduated from UCC with a BComm.


Suzanne Quinn, Marketing & Digital Director


Suzanne Quinn, Marketing and Digital Director for Woodie’s, the number one garden, home and DIY retailer in Ireland has been with Woodie’s since November 2019. Prior to taking this position, Suzanne worked with Tesco Ireland as Head of Brand Propositions. With a Masters in Marketing Practice from UCD Michael Smurfit graduate business school she has worked in a number of various marketing roles over her professional career. These include Dunnes and Superquinn.


Claire Reynolds, Head of Consumer Marketing Segments


Claire Reynolds is Head of Consumer Marketing Segments at Vodafone Ireland. Having worked her way up through the ranks from National Sales Account & Operations Manager to Head of Business Sales and more recently Director of Sales, Claire has dedicated 21 years across EMEA, Americas & APAC, in a fast-paced and transforming industry.

She is a highly skilled people and cultural leader with a proven track record of using data to inform decision making. She has delivered strong business results, developing new business, expanding existing and retaining critical customers in a complex matrixed organisation all withIn a highly competitive communications market.

Joe Roche, Head of Marketing


Joe Roche is the Head of Marketing at Blueface, A Comcast Business Company, managing an international team across a multi-channel global marketplace.

Since joining in 2018, the Blueface Marketing Team has successfully positioned the business for acquisition by Star2Star Communications and ultimately requisition by United States cable giant, Comcast Business.

Prior to joining Blueface, Joe has worked as a Content Manager for HPSU Code Institute, a Sports and Culture Journalist / Sub-Editor for Independent News and Media as well as Public Relations for Bray Wanderers FC.

Joe has a BSc in Communications from Dublin City University but acquired most of his experience through non-profit event booking and management.

Naomi Sabherwal, Head of Commercial Marketing

AIG Ireland

Naomi Sabherwal is the Head of Commercial Marketing, Communications & Government Affairs for AIG Ireland. She has been with AIG since 2017 and is responsible for media relations, internal & external communications, B2B marketing, thought leadership, broker training as well as commercially leveraging AIG’s local and global sponsorship assets. She holds a degree in Economics, Politics and International Relations from University College Dublin and a Master’s Degree in Marketing from Dublin Institute of Technology.


Kevin Sammon, Director of Global Corporate Communicatiosn & Marketing

IDA Ireland

Leading IDA’s engagement with international media and shaping Ireland’s business reputation in target markets across the world. Member of IDA Ireland’s Executive Leadership Team. Handling a diverse portfolio of areas for IDA Ireland including: corporate communications, brand, reputation, political communications, events, crisis and internal communications.



Kate Saul, Head of Marketing


Kate Saul is a marketing and brand manager with significant experience (Nearly two decades) in the FMCG sector currently working with Ornua. Saul has an excellent track record managing large budgets, growing revenue and increasing margin across commercial clients. She has a passion for concept creation, product development and brand building and has experience in developing and delivering business and marketing plans. An excellent communicator and relationship builder with both internal and external stakeholders and is a manager who motivates and energises diverse teams to deliver key objectives.

Etain Seymour, Marketing & Communications Director


Etain leads Accenture in Ireland’s marketing and communications function, shaping Accenture’s brand strategy in Ireland, strengthening its position as an innovation-led organisation, and both enhancing and increasing employee engagement. As a highly experienced marketeer with almost 25 years’ experience, she has specialised in customer-centric growth strategies across industries including retail, FMCG, life sciences and technology, analytics and loyalty. In her most recent role at Zoetis, a global organisation specialising in animal health and life sciences, she was the international head of digital and marketing. Etain has a keen interest in inclusion and diversity and has served on the board of Connecting Women in Technology (CWIT) as the chair of branding and strategy. Her responsibilities included representing member companies from across the technology sector in Ireland. She holds a BSc in Management from Trinity College Dublin, is an active member of the Marketing Institute of Ireland, and a frequent conference speaker and contributor to thought leadership.

David Slattery, Head of Marketing


As Head of Marketing for Pinergy, an alternative to the energy market, David Slattery is in charge of the delivery of brand and reputation management, insights and research, traditional and digital marketing, sponsorship rights and activations, and media management. Prior to joining Pinergy in 2017, David was with Bank of Ireland where he worked as Head of Marketing: Business & Private Banking from 2011-2014, and Head of Digital Channels: Wealth Management from 2014-2017.


Siobhan Smith, Global Marketing Manager


As Global Marketing Manager,Siobhán is responsible for devising and implementing the global marketing strategy for Expleo Group’s Quality Management Consulting business unit. She leads a team of country marketing managers worldwide, driving commercial and business targets for their respective regions. Siobhán’s promotion to Global Marketing Manager in March 2021 is preceded by her near three-year spell working within Expleo Ireland (formerly SQS Ireland) in the marketing division. She joined the company in July 2018 as a Marketing Coordinator and helped strategise the successful rebrand to Expleo before being promoted to the role of Head of Marketing for Ireland in January 2020. Siobhán holds a Postgraduate Degree in Marketing and Management from TU Dublin. She was also awarded the Gold Medal for achieving a first place on the Master of Science in Management and Marketing from the Dublin Institute of Technology, class of 2018.

Liz Smyth, Head of International Marketing


Liz Smyth is a Marketing executive who specializes in international expansion for fast-growing companies. She has spent over twenty years helping companies in the technology industry scale, across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. Liz is currently Head of International Marketing at Slack, the messaging app for businesses around the world. Prior to joining Slack, Liz worked at Marketo where she led the go-to-market strategy for Europe and APAC. She previously held a variety of roles at Salesforce in Dublin. Liz holds a BA in International Business from The University of Ulster.

Michelle Spillane, Marketing & Brand Director

PaddyPower Betfair

A trailblazer in the Marketing Industry Michelle Spillane joined Paddy Power Betfair in January 2018. Prior to taking this role she served as Director for RTE Global & Marketing from 2014 – 2018 She began her career as Head of Marketing at Bank of Ireland from 2006-2012 and Marketing Director for ITV Worldwide in London from 2003-2006- Major names across Ireland and the UK!

Mark Stanley, VP Web Marketing & Marketing Operations EMEA


Mark started his career working in Tech Support at Gateway, moving into Software Engineering with CBT Systems / Smartforce. He started his Marketing career when he joined the fledgling Salesforce in 2000 and has since helped grow the company to the global #1 provider in CRM that it is today. He now leads a Global Digital Enablement team. He has volunteered with no profits such as Citywise Education, Habitat for Humanity Ireland and Room to Read.


Olive Stephens, Director Corporate Communications and Public Affairs


Olive Stephens is the Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs for EY. She oversees External and Internal Communications for EY Ireland, including media and government relations. Prior to joining EY she was Head of Public Relations and Public Affairs at The Communications Clinic and Olive is a former Ministerial advisor. Her areas of expertise include strategic communications, brand building, crisis communications, public affairs strategy, public policy engagement, reputation management, government relations, advocacy and stakeholder engagement.


Sharon Tighe, International Marketing Manager


Sharon Tighe is the Manager, International Digital at Hewlett Packard Enterprise based in San Jose, California. Previously, Sharon was the Group Head, Online Strategy & Insights at Zahra Media Group and also held positions at Mykidstime, Boyle Arts Festival.




Nora Torpey, Head of Marketing and Communications


Nora joined RTÉ in 2018 as Head of Marketing and Communications, leaving Tesco Ireland after four years as Head of Brand Strategy and Communications.

Prior to this she worked in a number of brand manager roles across Coca-Cola Ireland, The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola North West Europe & Nordics.



Niall Tracey, Director of Marketing

Fáilte Ireland

Niall is Director of Marketing for Fáilte Ireland. He is also responsible for the brands like Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East and oversees research and insight, and domestic marketing activity encouraging 10.5 million domestic visitors to stay in Ireland for a holiday in 2017. Prior to Failte Ireland, Niall worked with major players in Ireland including Aldi, Kerrygold, Aviva, SuperValu and Diageo.


Emer Vahey, Marketing & Food Transformation Manager Ireland


With a career spanning over 20 years’ in the food industry in both MNCs and start-ups, including Aryzta Foods, O’Hehir’s Bakery & Café group & Peking Asian Street Food, Emer joined Sodexo in November 2019. With organisations now focused on transforming workplaces, including hybrid working for employees, Emer leads the development and activation of Sodexo’s marketing strategy for Ireland, supporting business development, innovation in new food delivery models including technologies to support clients deliver a superior workplace and employee experience.


Sarah-Jane Willoughby, Head of Marketing and Sponsorship


Sarah-Jane is an experienced senior marketing leader with strong leadership, problem-solving, strategic planning and analytical skills. She is currently the Head of Marketing and Sponsorship at Ibec since 2014, and is responsible for the organisation’s brand strategy and management including the creation of new brands and revamping and scaling of existing brands into new and existing markets for stronger competitive positions and commercial impact. She was previously Marketing Communications Manager at Deloitte Ireland and has also served in senior marketing roles at Microsoft, Verizon Business and MCI-WorldCom.

Business & Finance CMO 100 (alphabetical by surname):

View part one (B-F)

View part two (F-K)

View part three (K-N)

View part four (O-W)

The full list will be available to download from 25.05.2021