New and notable appointments at Chadwicks Group, Bank of Ireland, Lewis Silkin and FREENOW

By Business & Finance
21 September 2023
Pictured: John Paul O’Reilly, Managing Director, Specialist Product Division, Chadwicks Group.

This week sees new and notable appointments at Chadwicks Group, Bank of Ireland, Lewis Silkin and FREENOW.

John Paul O’Reilly, Managing Director, Specialist Product Division,
Chadwicks Group

In this newly established role, John Paul will assume responsibility for overseeing the growth and development of specialised brands within Chadwicks Group, which includes Heiton Steel, Morgans Timber, Proline, The Panelling Centre, and Sitetech.  John Paul’s responsibilities will involve close collaboration with managers across Chadwicks Group’s specialist brands, ensuring the efficient and seamless operation of their business units.

A key focus of his role will be to drive and facilitate necessary change within the organisation, with sustainability and digital transformation as top priorities. With over two decades of commercial experience, John Paul brings a wealth of expertise gained from working with some of Ireland’s largest retail organisations, including Tesco Ireland as Commercial and Multichannel Director, Maxol as COO, and Brown Thomas Arnotts as Commercial Director. His extensive background encompasses both physical and digital retailing, bringing the expertise and experience to take the business into the future.

John Paul holds a Bachelor of Civil Law from University College Dublin and is a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants of Ireland. In 2001, he was awarded an MBA in Retail from Stirling University.

Speaking on the appointment, Patrick Atkinson, CEO, Chadwicks Group, commented:

“We are thrilled to welcome John Paul to Chadwicks Group. He joins us at a time when we have big growth ambitions across all brands and categories, and we welcome the knowledge and expertise he will bring to the company.”

“Our mission is to provide a best-in-class customer experience and to ensure our service offering is consistent with our customers’ needs and wants as the construction industry evolves. Hiring and retaining experienced industry leaders is imperative to reaching our goals. We are committed to having the right team in place and the appointment of John Paul O’Reilly will contribute significantly to our ongoing efforts to provide a better consistency of experience, product selection and value across all branches.”

Speaking on his appointment, John Paul O’Reilly, new Managing Director of the Specialist Product Division at Chadwicks Groupsaid:

“I am very excited to join Chadwicks Group as Managing Director of the Specialist Products Division. I am delighted to be joining a company like Chadwicks Group and I look forward to working with the leaders of our specialist product companies in Heiton Steel, Morgans Timber, Proline, The Panelling Centre and Sitetech. I’m excited to support these businesses as they continue to grow and to continue my professional growth with a group of colleagues who strive for excellence.”

This role is newly created and forms part of wider strategic review within Grafton Group.

Susan Brown, Head of Strategic Transformation & Operations for Corporate and Commercial Banking division
Bank of Ireland

Bank of Ireland has announced the appointment of Susan Brown as Head of Strategic Transformation & Operations for its Corporate and Commercial Banking division.

In this newly-established position, Susan will focus on building a centre for operational excellence, business servicing and strategic programme delivery for the Bank’s consolidated Corporate, Markets and Business Banking teams.

In more than two decades at Bank of Ireland, Susan has held various roles in Property Finance Corporate Banking with her earlier career spent in Private Banking and Business Banking. Most recently Susan was Head of Digital & Operations and then Interim Chief Operating Officer of Corporate Banking.

Susan holds a degree in business studies and postgraduate qualifications in people management.

Aisling Parkinson, Partner
Lewis Silkin

Lewis Silkin has announced the appointment of Aisling Parkinson as a partner in the firm’s Dublin office, further enhancing its Irish employment law capabilities.

Aisling advises a wide range of multinational employers on all aspects of Irish employment law, with a particular focus on restructuring, all types of employment litigation and investigations. She is also an active member of the Employment Lawyers Association of Ireland and the European Employment Lawyers Association.

Aisling is the latest addition to Lewis Silkin’s growing presence in Ireland, following the launch of its Dublin office in 2018 and its Belfast office in 2021. The firm’s Irish employment law team now has 7 partners, and a total of 19 lawyers, and is widely known as being one of the leading teams in its field.

Síobhra Rush, employment partner and head of the Dublin office at Lewis Silkin, commented:

“Aisling is a very well-regarded employment lawyer who I have known for many years. It’s a real pleasure to have her on board with Lewis Silkin in Dublin. Her drive and commitment to excellent client service is a perfect fit for our team and further strengthens our market leading employment practice spanning the island of Ireland.”

Aisling Parkinson, partner at Lewis Silkin said:

“Lewis Silkin’s growth since launching in Dublin is a real testament to the hard work put in by Síobhra, Linda and the team – it has a well-earned reputation for providing excellent Irish employment law support to multinational employers. I am very much looking forward to joining such a talented team and supporting clients as they grapple with the fast-evolving employment law environment in Ireland, from new remote working rights to pay reporting and whistleblowing”.

Charlie Gleeson, General Manager,

FREENOW has announced the appointment of Charlie Gleeson as the new General Manager for the Irish market. Charlie will be responsible for leading FREENOW’s business in Ireland and delivering its strategic ambition to continue growing the scale and diversity of FREENOW’s mobility offering for people across the country.

As General Manager, Charlie will lead a team of over 35 professionals in Ireland and oversee the continued rollout and expansion of FREENOW’s mobility offering. He will also have responsibility for the ongoing growth and support of the company’s dedicated fleet of over 14,000 driver partners across the country making it the largest taxi fleet in Ireland.

With over 11 years experience in the Irish market, FREENOW is dedicated to improving mobility services via taxis to its driver partners and passenger base as a key part of Ireland’s public transport infrastructure. Alongside the growing taxi fleet the company is also committed to offering more flexible and sustainable mobility choices for its passengers to support the development of a more sustainable transport system in Ireland. The company plans to mirror the multi-modal progress it has made across other European cities where multiple modes are available via one app (taxis, eScooters, eBikes, public transport etc), and Charlie’s leadership will play an important part in achieving this, with upcoming developments to the app to account for new micro mobility modes in the future.

Before joining FREENOW, Charlie was the CEO and founder of leading Irish micromobility start-up Zipp Mobility, until it was acquired by ZEUS Scooters earlier this year. During his time with Zipp Mobility, Charlie was responsible for launching eScooter and eBike services in ten locations across Ireland, the UK and Poland. Charlie holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting and Finance from UCD.

Commenting on his appointment, Charlie Gleeson, General Manager for FREENOW Ireland, said: “I am delighted to join FREENOW as a leading and innovative mobility provider in Ireland and across Europe. Together with the dedicated team at FREENOW Ireland and with the continued support of FREENOW’s excellent fleet of driver partners, I look forward to supporting FREENOW’s continued growth in the Irish market. With my experience in the micromobility sector, I’m also excited to move forward with our plans to deliver new micromobility options in the Irish market in the near future.”

Tim Arnold, Regional General Manager for FREENOW said: “At FREENOW, we are committed to improving mobility experiences across all markets in which we operate. In Ireland our focus remains on delivering the best service to both our driver partners and passengers. We’re delighted to welcome Charlie to lead the Irish business at a pivotal time where we plan to increase investment to support continued growth and innovation in the market. With Charlie’s entrepreneurial mindset and local mobility industry expertise we’re confident that he will drive FREENOW’s ambitious strategy for the Irish market and deliver greater mobility choices for passengers.”


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