Business & Finance launches CEO 100 Index 2023 — Part 3

Business & Finance has released the annual CEO 100 Index, recognising the leading chief executives operating in Ireland in 2023.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Caroline Keeling, Chief Executive Officer,

CEO and shareholder of family-owned agri-food business Keelings, Caroline has a BSc (Chem) & MSc in Food Science which she obtained from University College Dublin (UCD). Caroline started her career with Green Isle Foods in 1992, before joining Keelings as Technical Manager in 1994 and then Technical Director in 1998. In 2002, she became the Managing Director of Keelings Multiples and in 2006 took over as Group Managing Director. She became CEO in 2012. Caroline is a Board member of IBEC and a member of their National Council, she is also on the Food Safety Consultative Council of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. Caroline is a Board Member of the following charities, The Ifrah Foundation, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland and Valid Nutrition.

Peter Keeling, Chief Executive Officer,

As Chief Executive Officer of Diaceutics, Peter recognized early on that Personalized Medicine would be an increasingly large part of the drug development paradigm, representing a shift in how the pharmaceutical industry operates. With over thirty years of experience in international healthcare, Peter is a thought leader in Personalized Medicine commercialisation. Under his leadership, Diaceutics has grown significantly since its inception in 2005 and now works with 39 pharma companies, including the 10 biggest global pharma companies.
Peter has driven Diaceutics to become a leader in innovative solutions that enable pharma to leverage diagnostic testing globally. In October 2020 the company launched DXRX – The Diagnostic Network® – the world’s first diagnostic commercialization platform for Precision Medicine. In just a year of its launch, DXRX delivered 57% of total group revenues. Diaceutics listed on AIM in March 2019, and has grown significantly with 25%+ annual growth year-on-year. Diaceutics continues to invest in the development and commercialisation of the DXRX platform and has raised approximately $50m in funding.

Derek Kehoe, Chief Executive Officer & Head of Country: Ireland,
BNP Paribas

Derek Kehoe was appointed as Chief Executive and Head of Country for the BNP Paribas Group in the Republic of Ireland in March 2015. Derek has executive responsibility for the bank’s Corporate & Institutional Banking (CIB) operations in Ireland. In addition, Derek has a non-executive and co-ordination role for the bank’s non-CIB activities, chairing the Boards of Greenval Insurance, Darnell DAC and Vartry DAC. Derek also sits on the Boards of BNP Paribas Real Estate, a commercial property services company and BNP Paribas Fund Administration Services Ireland Limited as a Non-Executive Director. Derek was appointed as Chairperson of the Federation or International Bank in Ireland (FIBI) in January 2019. Derek started his career with BNP Paribas in 2002, to develop the banks Fixed Income Franchise in Dublin with a remit of ensuring the integration of the Corporate, Public sector and Financial Institutions strategies in Ireland. Derek has 30 years’ experience in various Capital Markets, Leadership and Board roles, graduating from UCD with an Honours degree in Pure Economics in 1987. Derek became a Chartered Director and a Fellow of The Institute of Directors in 2018, having completed a Certificate and Diploma in Company Direction in 2016.

Aengus Kelly, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer,

Mr. Kelly was appointed Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of AerCap on May 18, 2011. Previously he served as Chief Executive Officer of AerCap’s U.S. operations from January 2008 to May 2011. Mr. Kelly served as AerCap’s Group Treasurer from 2005 through December 31, 2007. He started his career in the aviation leasing and financing business with Guinness Peat Aviation (GPA) in 1998 and continued working with its successors AerFi in Ireland and debis AirFinance and AerCap in Amsterdam. Prior to joining GPA in 1998, he spent three years with KPMG in Dublin. Mr. Kelly is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce and a Master’s degree in Accounting from University College, Dublin.

Paul Kelly, Chief Executive Officer,
Fáílte Ireland

Paul Kelly has been the Chief Executive of Fáilte Ireland since 2017. Paul has led Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, through the deepest crisis ever for our country’s tourism industry. His work now is focused on driving the sustained and sustainable recovery of the industry to ensure tourism contributes even more to the economic, social, cultural and environmental future of Ireland. This future will build on Fáilte Ireland’s previous successes including the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, the Dublin brand refresh and The Gathering.

Paul’s leadership has led Fáilte Ireland to be listed in the top 20 best large organisations to work in for three consecutive years and listed in the top 5 most trusted organisations in the country. In 2020 Paul was named as Ireland’s Most Trusted Leader by Great Places to Work. Before his appointment as CEO of Fáilte Ireland, Paul held several management and marketing leadership roles. Raised in a small retail family business, he began his career with Procter & Gamble UK. Paul then went on to senior executive positions with Diageo Ireland, Aviva and the UCD Smurfit Business School. Paul Kelly is a native of Co. Wexford and a Commerce graduate from University College Dublin. He is married and has four children.

Chris Kirke, President,
Moy Park

Chris joined the business in 2018 as President of Moy Park. With more than 26 years of experience in the food industry, Chris has a strong track record of customer engagement and business transformation in both the UK and US. Prior to joining Moy Park, Chris was most recently CEO at the USA division of Greencore Group plc and previously served as the Managing Director of their food to go division in the UK, driving revenue growth, ownership and channel alignment to establish long term relationships with retail partners and enhance business performance. Chris is positioning the business for its next chapter of accelerated growth and innovation.

Dave Kirwan, Managing Director,
Bord Gáis

Dave Kirwan is Managing Director of Bord Gáis Energy. Dave returned to the role of MD in Summer 2020 having completed a successful term in the UK as Managing Director of the UK Customer Operations and latterly MD of the UK Home business. Dave was responsible for leading the Bord Gáis Energy business through the successful sale to Centrica in 2014 and prior to that had worked in Bord Gáis Éireann for 15 years. He was responsible for the launch of its Northern Ireland business, Firmus Energy, the development of the Whitegate power station and the acquisition and subsequent merger of the SWS wind business. Prior to joining Bord Gáis Energy, Dave worked in power generation sector for ESB/ESBI in Ireland, US and Vietnam. Dave holds a BE electronics from UCD and is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers of Ireland, he also holds an MBA from UCC and a doctorate in business economics (DBA) from UCC. Dave also serves on the Centrica Group Executive Committee.

Gordon Lawlor, Managing Director: Ireland,
Circle K

Gordon Lawlor took over as managing director for Circle K in Ireland in August 2019. Prior to this he served as Fuels Director in the company. Gordon has significant industry expertise having held several management and leadership roles in the fuel and convenience retail sector over the last 21 years. He worked for ExxonMobil for 17 years – in Ireland with Esso Ireland, and internationally with ExxonMobil in both Brussels and London. He also led the Esso business in Ireland as its Chairman and Director from 2012 until its acquisition by Topaz Energy in 2015.”

Fergal Leamy, Chief Executive Officer,
Glen Dimplex

Fergal joined Glen Dimplex in June 2019 as Group COO and was appointed as Group CEO in July 2021. Fergal has spent more than 20 years’ working in international business in sectors such as forestry, management & consultancy and the food industry. Prior to Glen Dimplex, he was CEO of Coillte Group from 2014-2019 which is Ireland’s largest state-owned forest manager with a vision of creating a sustainable future for all. Before joining Coillte, Fergal worked as a Director at Terra Firma, a leading Private Equity house in London and ran Greencore’s US operations from 2001 – 2011. Outside of Glen Dimplex, he is a senior advisor for Melior Equity Partners.

Mark Lee, President & Chief Executive Officer,
Sysco Ireland

Mark Lee is the Chief Executive Officer at Sysco Ireland. He has overall responsibility for all Sysco activities on the Island of Ireland. Mark joined Sysco Ireland as the Commercial Director in 2018 and previously held several executive level positions with Compass Ireland including Commercial Director, Customer Retention Director and Marketing Director. He started his career in the marketing department of the Guinness Ireland Group in 1996 before moving to O2 and subsequently Eircom in 2003. He then joined sports management agency Platinum-One where Ryder Cup 2006 Ltd and the European Tour were his primary clients.

Mark holds a B.Sc Mgmt from Trinity College Dublin and an Advanced Diploma in Marketing Techniques from the Dublin Institute Of Technology.

Carolan Lennon, Country Leader Salesforce Ireland,

Carolan Lennon joined Salesforce in March 2022 as its Country Leader for Ireland. She had previously acted as CEO for eir from 2018 – 2022. Salesforce opened its European HQ in Ireland in 2000 and continues to thrive in the market with a growing presence.

Darragh Lyons, Chief Executive Officer,
Malin Corp.

Darragh was appointed Chief Executive Officer in September 2019, having previously held the positions of Chief Business and Financial Officer, and Chief Financial Officer of Malin. Darragh joined Malin in March 2015. Prior to joining Malin, Darragh held a number of senior finance positions in Elan Corporation plc and worked with PwC in Dublin, the US and Canada. Darragh is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland.

Paul Marchant, Chief Executive Officer,

Paul joined Primark as Chief Operations Officer in 2009 and within the same year became CEO, taking
over the reins from Primark founder, Mr Arthur Ryan. Paul has a career long background in fashion retail, having previously worked for Debenhams, Topman, River Island and was COO at New Look before joining Primark.

Under Paul’s leadership, Primark has become a truly international business, now trading in over 400 stores across 16 markets, with 70,000 colleagues employed globally. He has spearheaded its European and
US expansion, more than doubling its store footprint since joining and has ambitions to grow to 530 stores by the end of 2026, including 60 in the US.

Paul is based in Dublin, where Primark was founded in 1969. Known as Penneys in Ireland, the company’s global headquarters Arthur Ryan House is located above the first ever Penneys store on Mary Street.

Conor McCarthy, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder,

Conor McCarthy is CEO and Co-Founder of Flipdish, an online ordering system for restaurants founded in 2015. Headquartered in Dublin, Flipdish helps thousands of hospitality brands in over 12 countries. Flipdish puts restaurants, cafés and takeaways of all sizes in control of their business growth with a digital ordering and marketing system that builds brands, grows profits and new customers into regulars. Conor previously co-founded Switch Poker in 2010, the first poker site compatible with iPhone and iPad. He was CEO of SawadeeSoft Limited, the company that managed the software for Switch Poker for 5 years. Conor is a graduate of Maynooth University, achieving a Master of Science in Software Development in 2008. Prior to these studies, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Technological University Dublin in 2004. During his time in college, Conor founded, an online poker data-mining service which was later sold in 2014. After graduating from St. Michael’s College, James McCarthy attended Technological University Dublin where he earned his degree in architecture in 2010. His career started in 2006, when James was an architect intern for Scott Tallon Walker Architects. Upon graduating University, he worked in business development at Sawadeesoft Ltd before working as a graduate architect at Gary Cahill Architects. From 2012 to 2013, James worked in Sales Support for Kvadrat Soft Cells. In 2012, James founded The Christmas Shirt Company. Then, in 2015, James co-founded Flipdish with his brother, Conor. In 2011, James founded Cuebald For Cancer, an organisation that works to raise money and Awareness for the Irish Cancer Society.

Peter McCarthy, Chief Executive Officer,
Speed Fibre Group

Peter McCarthy is the CEO of Speed Fibre Group. He has over 30 years’ experience with companies like Actavo, Thornsett, Digicel and Accenture, amongst others and has considerable knowledge in the areas of telecoms (fixed and mobile), utility services, real estate, renewable energy and consumer-facing digital technology. Peter has a demonstrable track record in managing, transforming and growing a diverse number of businesses, and now as Group CEO, has overall responsibility for all Enet business activity including business strategy and operations.

Danny McCoy, Chief Executive Officer,

Danny McCoy is Chief Executive Officer of Ibec since 2009. Ibec is Ireland’s largest business representative organisation and the country’s largest lobbying group. It has 245 staff in nine locations and has 39 trade association brands and substantial presence within the European Union through Ibec’s Brussels office.

Prior to joining Ibec, Danny was a senior economist at both the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) and the Central Bank of Ireland in Dublin. He has held lecturing posts at Dublin City University, University College London, University of Oxford and Trinity College Dublin. He has been a consultant for the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). He has been a member of the Irish National Competitiveness Council, the National Economic and Social Council, the Commission on Taxation and the National Training Agency. He led a European Macroeconomic Forecasting Network for the European Commission of eleven national research institutes.

He is a former President of the Statistical and Social Inquiry society of Ireland, an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Engineers, member of the Trade and Investment Council, the Executive Bureau of BusinessEurope, a member of MaREI, a founder of ChapterZero Ireland and a member of Government’s Balance for Better Business Group.

His academic work in the early 1990s covered carbon taxation and Sustainable Development for which he received an Economic scholarship and the Barrington Medal for researchers under 30.

He was Knighted by the Italian Government in 2022 for services to European business and economy. In 2023, he was admitted as a Member of the Royal Irish Academy, considered to be Ireland’s highest academic honour

Barbara McGrath, Managing Director, 

Barbara McGrath is CEO of the Brightwater Group, encompassing Brightwater Recruitment, Brightwater Executive, Mentors, Alternatives and more recently actuarial specialists Raretec Recruitment. She joined the company in 2005 and became MD in 2017 before driving an MBO in 2018. An exceptional strategist, her commercial acumen and vision steers a focus on revenue and organisational growth as well as cultivating high performing teams and developing leaders from within the ranks. This is reflected in the loyal tenure of the Group’s core and growing team. A former president of the ERF (now Honorary Fellow) as well as a former president of the Executive Institute, Barbara is a veritable veteran of the recruitment sector and is passionate about the contributions the sector makes to the Irish economy.

Rosheen McGuckain, Chief Executive Officer,

Rosheen was appointed Chief Executive Officer of NTR plc in April 2013.  Since joining NTR in 2008, Rosheen has held a number of leadership positions in NTR including most recently as Group Business Development Director and CEO positions in solar development, energy storage, water treatment and waste management platforms within the group. Prior to joining NTR, Rosheen was CEO of GE Money Ireland, the consumer finance division of General Electric. Prior to that, Rosheen led the business transformation initiative for Irish utility ESB Power Generation.    Rosheen is a Director of Grafton Group plc and construction group Sisk. Rosheen was recently voted as one of the Top 25 in the Global Women’s Power List and Top 50 in the Global Green Fund Power List. She holds a PhD and MA from Dublin City University, and BSc from Trinity College Dublin.

Tina McKenzie, Country Managing Director,
Staffline Ireland

After graduating from Ulster University, Tina went on to pursue a successful international recruitment career, giving her over 30 years’ experience in the Recruitment and Employment Services sector, working with some of the world’s largest blue chip companies. After returning to Northern Ireland in 2013, she established Staffline Recruitment as a start-up throughout Ireland; taking the company from a standing start to a turnover of £150 million within 5 years.

This unprecedented success led to a stream of awards including the UTV Fast Business Growth Award in 2015, IOD’s Director of the Year Award in 2017 and UTV Business Eye’s Business Personality of the Year Award in 2018 and the Belfast Telegraph Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020. In June 2023, Tina was awarded an MBE for services to the local economy.

Tina has previously served as the European Ambassador for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day and is currently the Honorary Consul to Finland in Northern Ireland. Tina McKenzie also sits on the board of the Federation of Small Businesses, following over three years as Chair of the Policy Unit for Northern Ireland. She also recently joined the Ireland Funds Global Board.

David McRedmond, Chief Executive Officer,
An Post

David McRedmond was appointed Chief Executive Officer of An Post in October 2016.   He has led the Company’s Transformation programme and return to financial stability, sustainable revenue growth and profit by taking big steps to fix the Company’s economics and by restructuring the Mails & Parcels and Retail business in line with a rapidly changing, digital marketplace. David is personally driving An Post’s Sustainability Charter, putting it at the centre of An Post’s business transformation and Green Light strategy.

He was previously CEO of TV3 which he transformed into a major Irish broadcaster, concluding with its sale to Liberty Global, and he has held senior commercial roles in Ireland, the UK and the US. He is chairman of Eir, a lifetime Fellow of the Irish Management Institute, and of the Royal Society of Arts.

Martin McVicar, Managing Director,

Martin McVicar is Managing Director of material handling solutions business, Combilift, based in Co Monaghan. He began his career in engineering with a summer job at Moffett Engineering, a truck-mounted forklift manufacturer. He became Moffett’s Chief Engineer before turning 20. When the company was sold in 1997, Martin set up Combilift together with Robert Moffet. Combilift is a specialist forklift & straddle carrier manufacturer producing a wide range of customised handling solutions. He was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year at 29. He continues to develop new additions to the Combilift range of products..

Eric Mosley, Founder & Chief Executive Officer,

Eric Mosley is an HR visionary, author, and the founder and CEO of Workhuman – the Irish company, now valued at more than $1BN, spreading a culture of gratitude across global workforces.

Eric is leading the charge to dismantle old HR processes and challenge organisations to build new ways to connect the modern workforce. Founded in Dublin in 1997, Workhuman guides organisations worldwide on how to create more human-centric workplaces that leverage the power of recognition to motivate and fulfill employees.

As a pioneer of the Workhuman movement, Eric has long believed that recognition and positive reinforcement unleash discretionary energy in employees, inspiring them to do the best work of their lives. Employees achieve their fullest potential when they feel appreciated, connected, and empowered for who they are and what they do.

Eric is the author of “The Crowdsourced Performance Review” and co-author of the award-winning book, The Power of Thanks.

Dónal Murphy, Chief Executive Officer,

Donal joined DCC in 1998 and has a detailed knowledge of the operations of the Group, having held a number of senior leadership roles, including Managing Director of DCC Technology from 2004 to 2006 and Managing Director of DCC Energy from 2006 to 2017. He led the very significant growth of the Energy division and its transition from a small UK and Irish business to a substantial international business operating in 12 countries.

Donal was appointed Chief Executive of DCC plc in July 2017.

Marc Murphy, Chief Executive Officer,

Marc is Chief Executive Officer at Fenergo and is responsible for its business and operational strategy and corporate direction. He has over 20 years’ experience developing, selling, and delivering enterprise financial technology to global banks. A software engineer by background, Marc has a proven track record of building successful business and leadership teams. He has been with the company since its inception and is focused on driving growth, quality and excellence across people, processes and products.

Marc has overseen significant milestones for Fenergo including its rapid growth on a global scale, achieving unicorn status as a leading-edge financial technology company and its 2021 acquisition by Astorg and Bridgepoint.

Marc is an MBA graduate of Dublin City University.

Business & Finance CEO 100 (alphabetical by surname):

View part one (A–F)

View part two (F–K)

View part three (K–M)

View part four (M–V)