60 Seconds With

“Learn from others, listen and take advice, but always be your own person” – 60 seconds with John O’Keeffe, CEO of ePower

By Business & Finance
26 March 2024

John O’Keeffe is CEO of ePower. With offices in Dublin and Cork, ePower was established in 2019 and currently employs over 50 people. Its high-quality EV chargers and cables are compatible with all types of electric or hybrid car brands. The company offers 24/7 support and fully managed solutions for homes, businesses and the public nationwide.

What was your first job?

Stacking shelves in Roches Stores on Patrick St earned me my first ‘own’ money. I joined Smurfit Kappa’s graduate recruitment programme straight from UCC. It was a pretty steep learning curve, they immediately threw us into the management deep end with customers, manufacturing and decision making.

What pushed you to pursue a career in this field?

No push required. I feel really lucky to be involved in ePower and EV charging. It is the first time in over 100 years that everyday transportation is being transformed, and to be part of the move to green energy is exciting, challenging and a privilege. I get ridiculously excited by what we are doing and the social, political and economic tailwinds are great for the business.

What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?

I was lucky enough to develop a couple of teams that went on to build industry leading businesses. The team work, common purpose and knowing you are working with great people is very satisfying. After that, the rest takes care of itself.

Career wise, would you do anything differently?

Not yet! Seriously, though, everything about my career to date now informs how I run and grow the business, develop and motivate my staff and create a real impact in the industry.

In one sentence, how would you define success?

Getting the balance right and remembering that a win is a win. Small or large milestones; they all have something to teach us as we move continuously forward.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Learn from others, listen and take advice, but always be your own person.

How do you motivate yourself and your staff?

Transparency and humour. People need to know where they stand, what’s required of them to flourish in their roles. I think that’s best done by creating an environment conducive to conversation. We are focussed, but not formal.

How do you handle adversity?

Adversity is a normal part of life and business, so resilience has to be as well. Nothing goes exactly to plan so take a breath, evaluate what is happening and determine how to move onwards.

How do you relax?

Exercising while listening to some of my podcasts is a favourite, and spending time with family and friends is always fun.

What’s your favourite (non-business) book?

I love anything by Robert Harris and the Cicero Trilogy was brilliant.

What are your aspirations for the future of the business?

Everyone in ePower is passionate about EVs and decarbonising transport. We have fun doing it and that is a great launchpad to be the best in the industry.


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