February 2013: Louise Phelan, vice president of global operations EMEA, PayPal

Business Person of the Month | Wed 20 Mar | Author – Business & Finance
Louise Phelan
John Glenny, partner, MERC Partners; Ian Hyland, publisher, Business & Finance; Louise Phelan, vice president of global operations EMEA, PayPal.

Since establishing its European Centre of Excellence here, PayPal has consistently proven its commitment and investment in Ireland.

Vice president of global operations for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Louise Phelan has bucked the trend in securing significant jobs and investment through PayPal’s operations here over the last number of years.


Based in the Ballycoolin Industrial Estate in Blanchardstown, Louise Phelan leads a team of 1,800 people in Dublin, Dundalk and Berlin and manages the customer solutions, risk, merchant and financial operations departments that serve PayPal customers across the EMEA region.

PayPal’s European Operation Centre – which manages all direct customer contact for PayPal’s businesses across Europe – opened in Dublin in 2003. Since then the number of staff has increased from just 25 to more than 1,700 in Ireland today. In 2009, it announced an investment of €15mn and 150 additional jobs to support the development in Blanchardstown, and year-on-year have announced job increases, with 100 additional jobs in 2010, some 350 in 2011, 1,000 and a new operations centre in Dundalk, Co Louth in 2012, and in February 2013 eBay/PayPal announced plans to create an additional 450 positions in Ireland over the coming years.

Global leader

Acquired by eBay in 2002, PayPal operates in 190 markets, and it manages over 106 million active accounts. PayPal allows customers and businesses to buy and sell goods using an online account rather than having to exchange credit card details with numerous companies. The biggest payments firm in the world, it reputedly facilitates more than €315mn worth of transactions per day and holds funds in 25 currencies worldwide


A native of the Co. Laois village of Donaghmore, Louise Phelan joined PayPal in 2006 as CS and risk director for the EU before being promoted to her current position in 2011.

Prior to joining PayPal, Phelan was a member of the senior management team for GE Money, a division of General Electric (GE), which specialises in small ticket lending for a client base comprising both consumers and commercial customers. During her 16 years with GE (formerly Woodchester Investments), Phelan held a wide variety of management and leadership roles; from 2000 – 2006 she held the position of compliance leader with responsibility for leading change and integrating a compliance culture across the organisation. While in this role, she was a member of the Business Quality Council and was also Ombudsperson for the business.

Phelan is on the Board of the American Chamber of Commerce and in December 2012 was appointed as a non-executive director of Ryanair. She is also a member of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, CCMA Ireland and the Women’s Executive Network.

She was also the first woman to receive the Sir Michael Smurfit Business Achievement Award, which she received in 2012. She was lauded for ensuring that PayPal contributed to the growth of Ireland’s economy during the economic downturn.

Merc logoBusiness & Finance, Business Person of the Month

Business & Finance, in association with MERC Partners, has been rewarding excellence in business through the ‘Business Person of the Month’ award over the last number of years. These awards seek to recognise noteworthy achievements in business leadership, and particularly those that make a telling contribution to the wider business community in Ireland.