Business News

SHORTLIST: Business Person of the Year 2015

By Business & Finance
25 November 2015
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With the 2015 Business & Finance Irish Business Awards fast approaching, we’ve profiled the 15 individuals who are in the running for the Business Person of the Year award.

Tommy Breen

Tommy Breen DCCRole: CEO
Company: DCC

Tommy Breen is chief executive of DCC. Breen has worked across a broad range of sectors and businesses during his 30 years with the sales, marketing, distribution and services support group.

Previous management experience prior to joining DCC in 1985 included working with KPMG. Breen has held a number of senior management positions within the DCC Group, including managing director of the Energy, Technology and Environmental divisions. He was appointed chief operating officer of DCC in March 2006 and subsequently became group managing director in July 2007. He was appointed chief executive in May 2008.

Patsy Carney

Patsy CarneyRole: CEO
Company: EirGen Pharma

CEO Patsy Carney founded EirGen in March 2005 with Tom Brennan. Since then, the entrepreneurial pair have grown the company, constantly investing and expanding operations at its Waterford-base, while developing new innovations in the research and development of chemotherapy drugs.

EirGen employs 76 people and has contracts in 45 countries and was a Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist in 2008. He was previously head of operations and BD for IVAX Ireland for 14 years, and holds a BSc in industrial chemistry and an MBA, both from the University of Limerick.

Breon Corcoran

Breon CorcoranRole: CEO
Company: Betfair

Breon Corcoran has been CEO of Betfair since August 2012. The company has had continued success under his leadership and the company’s gaming exchange has been key.

The recent announcement of a Paddy Power-Betfair merger is testament to Corcoran’s achievements.

Before joining Betfair, Corcoran was COO at Paddy Power, having joined the company in 2001 from banking and financial services company JP Morgan.

Corcoran, a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, has considerable experience in dealing with both start-ups and mature businesses and specialises in building digital strategies and the creation and development of brands.

Robert Finnegan

Robert Finnegan newRole: CEO
Company: Three Ireland

Finnegan joined the newly formed Three in 2005, from Hutchison Whampoa Limited – Three’s parent company. From 1998 to 2003, he served as CEO of its beverage division – Watson’s – where he led the development of its water business in Europe under the Powwow brand. He also initiated and led the divestiture of Powwow to Nestlé for $545m.

Prior to his role at Three, Finnegan was CEO of Sentrio Technologies, a hosted mobile resource solution company, where he was instrumental in building the business internationally.

He previously served as CEO of Nestlé’s European home and office water business. Finnegan has also held senior finance roles at Lyons Tetley and Procter and Gamble.

Liam FitzGerald

Liam FitzgeraldRole: CEO
Company: UDG Healthcare

Liam FitzGerald was appointed chief executive of UDG Healthcare (formally United Drug) in October 2000, having previously served on the board since 1996.

He joined the company in 1993, before which he was managing director of United Drug Distributors and also worked with Dimension Marketing Limited and Smurfit Kappa Group.

Fitzgerald is a former non-executive director of Warner Chilcott plc and C&C Group plc and former chairman of the Marketing Society and Traidlinks. A graduate of UCD, he has a BComm and an MBS.

Aidan Lynch

Aidan Lynch GSKRole: Vice President and GM
Company: GSK Pharma

Prior to joining GSK, general manager Aidan Lynch worked in the music and food industries in Ireland having returned from Australia where he lived for 14 years.

Before being appointed general manager in October 2012, Lynch held a number of financial and commercial roles during his 12 years in GSK.

In 2014, he was appointed president of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce and was re-elected to the Board of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce. He is also a board member of the children’s charity Barretstown, a Serious Fun Camp, and also sits on the board of the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA).

Mike Maloney

Mike MaloneyRole: Executive chairman
Company: Payzone

Mike Maloney built up an impressive career as a senior executive at major corporations, including serving as chief operations officer at British Telecom Ireland between 2004 and 2008.

He was also executive chairman of Eurocommerce Payment Solutions between 2002 and 2004. He served with the army for 10 years, had been a platoon leader in Lebanon, studied economics in Galway, and worked with Digital Equipment in Gateway after leaving the Defence Forces. This year, Payzone was acquired by Carlyle Cardinal Ireland for an estimated €40m, and the payments network has 11,800 points of sale across 7,000 agents.

Richard Moat

Richard MoatRole: CEO
Company: eir

Richard Moat was named CEO of eir (previously eircom) late last year. Previously he was chief financial officer and executive director, roles he had held since 2012.

Moat has extensive telecommunications experience, as managing director of T-Mobile in the UK and CFO at Everything Everywhere, formed from a merger of T-Mobile and Orange Mobile.

In September, eircom Group announced it was changing its name to eir after undergoing a rebrand costing an estimated €16m.

Gary McGann

Gary McGannRole: Chairman
Company: Paddy Power

This has been a year of change for Gary McGann, who began 2015 as CEO of Smurfit Kappa Group and ends it as chairman of a rapidly evolving Paddy Power.

In May, McGann announced his retrirement as CEO of Smurfit Kappa Group, replaced by Tony Smurfit. He had joined the board of Paddy Power in November 2014 and was appointed chairman in July of this year.

The following month Paddy Power announced plans to merge with Betfair, with Breon Corcoran to lead as CEO and McGann remaining as chairman.

Rosheen McGuckian

rosheen mcguckianRole: CEO
Company: NTR

Rosheen McGuckian was appointed CEO of NTR plc in April 2013. Since joining NTR in 2008, McGuckian has held a number of leadership positions in NTR including most recently as Group business development director and CEO positions in solar development and waste management platforms within the group.

Prior to joining NTR, she was CEO of GE Money Ireland, the consumer finance division of General Electric, having joined GE in 2002. She is a director of the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), Social Innovation Fund of Ireland and is a member of the Advisory Board of Trinity College Dublin School of Engineering. She holds a PhD, MA and BSc.

Mark Roden

Mark RodenRole: CEO
Company: Ding

EY Entrepreneur of the year 2014, Mark Roden’s company allows customers to send mobile phone credit to up to 3.5bn phones worldwide – a godsend to phone users who have run out.

Ding has built up ties with over 350 operators in 130 countries worldwide. Roden set up Ding in 2006, having been the first employee at mobile phone operator Esat Digifone in 1991.

That was followed by a stint as CEO and founder of retail ATM operator Easycash Ireland between 2001 and 2005, which went on to be acquired by Ulster Bank/RBS in 2004.

This year, Ding acquired US top-up network iSend, in a deal that doubled the size of Ding’s business in one fell swoop.

Dómhnal Slattery

Domhnal SlatteryRole: CEO
Company: Avolon

Dómhnal Slattery is the founding CEO of Avolon, a global leader in the aircraft leasing industry. Slattery’s ability to build and rapidly scale a market-leading aircraft leasing platform is evident in his successful establishment of IAMG, RBS Aviation Capital and Avolon through three business cycles – from the early 1990s to today. In 2010, he founded Avolon, a global aircraft leasing business which, in five years, has been built into one of the top 10 lessors in the world. Avolon listed on the New York Stock Exchange in December 2014 in what was the largest ever listing on the NYSE by an Irish founded company. In August, 2015, Avolon announced a merger agreement with Chinese leasing company, Bohai, which valued Avolon at $7.6bn. Slattery has a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) from University College Galway and is a graduate of the Accelerated Development Programme from the London Business School.

Siobhán Talbot

siobhan talbotRole: CEO
Company: Glanbia

Siobhán Talbot was appointed Group managing director of Glanbia in November 2013, taking over from John Moloney after 12 years at the helm.

Previously, Talbot served as group finance director, where her role encompassed responsibility for Group strategic planning, and has held a number of senior positions since she joined in 1992.

Prior to Glanbia, Talbot worked with PwC in Dublin and Sydney. A graduate from UCD, Talbot is also a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and has been a member of the Board of Glanbia since 2009.

Willie Walsh

Willie WalshRole: CEO
Company: IAG

The success of IAG’s epic takeover bid for Aer Lingus, already one of the landmark deals in Irish corporate history, closes one chapter and opens another – both for the airline and for Willie Walsh, CEO of its new owner IAG.

North Dublin-born Walsh’s career has come full-circle since joining Aer Lingus as a 17 year-old cadet pilot in the late 1970s.

2015 was a good year for Walsh’s IAG. The year’s first-half operating profits were €555m, a jump of 141% backed by a 5.6% increase in passengers. “We said previously that profit improvement would be slower in the second quarter and we are on track to reach our full-year targets,” he said.


The 41st Annual Business & Finance Irish Business Awards will take place on Thursday, December 17th at The Convention Centre Dublin.

This year’s awards will see former Secretary General of The United Nations Kofi Annan present former President of Ireland Mary Robinson with the Outstanding Contribution to Ireland award.

To enquire about attending these prestigious awards contact Louise Delahunty on +353 (1) 237 7000 or email