Denis O'Brien is Chairman of the privately-owned Digicel Group, one of the fastest growing mobile operators in the world.
He is one of Ireland’s leading entrepreneurs with extensive investments across several sectors including international telecoms, radio, media, property, aircraft leasing, golf and other leisure interests. He also founded Communicorp Group which owns and manages a portfolio of media and broadcasting-related companies in Ireland and eight other European countries.
Denis founded the Esat Telecom Group plc and built it throughout the 1990’s until its sale to British Telecom plc for €2.4 billion.
Outside of his extensive business interests, he chaired the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Ireland. It was the first time the Summer Games were staged outside the US with teams from 160 countries and over 30,000 volunteers. The 2003 Summer Games were the most successful in the history of the Special Olympics World Summer Games.
Denis is Chairman of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Judging Panel, having previously been a recipient of the award. He serves as a Director on the US Board of Concern Worldwide.
In addition, he is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Frontline, the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders. Based in Dublin, Frontline is working to ensure that the standards set out in the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted in 1998, are known, respected and adhered to worldwide. Frontline’s work consists of research, advocacy, communications/technical assistance and emergency evacuation of human rights activists.
In 2000, Denis established The Iris O’Brien Foundation to identify and assist projects in Ireland and internationally which aim to alleviate disadvantaged communities.
In 2010, he was named Goodwill Ambassador for the city of Port-au-Prince in Haiti by the Mayor of Port-au-Prince in recognition of his efforts to rebuild Haiti and attract foreign direct investment in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake on January 12th. Digicel is the single largest private investor in Haiti.
He has also been appointed to the Broadband Commission for Digital Development.
Denis holds a BA degree from University College Dublin and an MBA from Boston College.
Leslie Buckley is one of Ireland's most successful business consultants having helped manage the start-up of Esat Telecom Group plc and Esat Digifone Limited. He held the position of Chief Operations Officer of Esat Telecom in 1996 and 1997.
|Colm Delves, CEO
Colm joined Digicel in May 2004 in the role of Group Chief Financial Officer before taking up his current role as Group Chief Executive Officer in June 2005.
When he joined the company, Digicel was active in eight markets in the Caribbean having launched its first operation in Jamaica in 2001. Since then, Colm has overseen a fourfold increase in the number of markets Digicel serves and has been instrumental in taking the Digicel brand of best value, best service and best network mobile communications across the Caribbean and Central America. With the addition of six markets in the Pacific to the portfolio, Digicel Group now spans 32 markets worldwide and is proud to serve 11 million customers worldwide.
Prior to his role in Digicel, Colm provided consultancy services to a number of companies, including O’Brien Cellular Ltd., owned by Denis O’Brien. From September 1993 to October 2003, Colm held the position of Chief Financial Officer of Hibernia Foods plc, a Nasdaq-quoted company in the food manufacturing industry.
Colm qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG Dublin and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Dublin City University and is based with his family in Kingston, Jamaica.
Lucy Gaffney has been involved in a variety of successful businesses in Ireland since 1985. Lucy’s involvement with Esat Telecom spanned six years from her role as Managing Director of the Ideas Company - where she was an advisor to Esat Digifone in its successful bid and subsequent launch as Ireland's second GSM mobile phone operator - to a number of senior positions within the company itself, including Chief Operations Officer, Director of Marketing and Managing Director of Esat Clear, Esat's residential division.
|Pat Casey - Group Human Resources Director
Pat joined Digicel in September 2006 as Group HR Director where he is responsible for driving all elements of the people agenda.
From recruitment and talent management to change and culture programmes, Pat’s goal is to have each and every person in the company understanding and living the Digicel Way. This means focusing on continuing to provide great service and striving constantly to do things in a different way to continue to contribute to the success of Digicel and it’s employees.
With over 25 years of professional human resource management experience and at least 15 of these spent in international and foreign assignments, Pat started his career as a graduate trainee with Ford Motor Company. He has subsequently held various human resources positions with Apple, Intel Corporation and most recently as Vice President Human Resources Dell EMEA Operations.Pat is a graduate of Human Resources & Business from Limerick University, Ireland and is based in Kingston, Jamaica.
PJ is the Chairman of Mara & Associates, a firm that he founded in 1992, which acts as advisors in the areas of financial planning, public relations and public affairs to financial institutions, public companies and trans-national corporations. Also in 1992, he was appointed Media Relations Adviser to Guinness Peat Aviation, the Irish-based aircraft leasing group.
PJ is one of Ireland’s most highly respected political advisors. In 1983, following a brief period as a Member of the Irish Senate, he was appointed Press Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition, Fianna Fáil, in the Irish Parliament and continued in this role until 1987 when he became Press Secretary to the Prime Minister and Government of Ireland. He ran Fianna Fáil's national election campaigns in 1997 and 2002, both of which proved successful for the party.
PJ served on the board of the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games, which took almost four years to organise and was the first such Games to take place outside of the USA in its 36 year history. It was also the world's largest sporting event for 2003, featuring 7,000 athletes, from more than 150 countries, participating in 21 sports.
Since 2003, PJ Mara has acted as an Advisor to the Prime Minister and Government of Croatia.
Greg Sparks is a founder partner of FGS - a firm of business advisors and consultants with offices in Dublin and Belfast. Greg has over 20 years' professional experience in accountancy and corporate finance. His areas of expertise include corporate finance, programme planning and implementation and change management.
Recent projects in which Greg has been involved include the restructuring negotiations at The Irish Times; advising the response to Irish government plans on liberalisation of the electricity industry; advising Aer Lingus on the selection of a strategic partner for the airline as well as restructuring negotiations.
Greg has advised a number of clients in negotiations with banks, including developing and agreeing revised financial structures to enable companies to grow and prosper.
Seamus joined Digicel as CEO in May 2000 when the company was awarded its first licence in Jamaica. Following Digicel Jamaica’s highly successful launch which saw the company become market leader within the first year of operation, Seamus went on to become the Group’s first CEO in 2003 as the company rapidly expanded across the Caribbean.
David Sykes, aged 61, is a Non-Executive Director of Digicel Group Limited. David began his career in Allied Irish Banks and subsequently worked for 15 years with Trinity Bank Ltd. in Ireland.
In 1990, David joined Riada Stockbrokers and is currently an Associate of Dolmen Securities Ltd, an Irish-based independent stockbroking and investment management firm.
|Sir Julian Horn-Smith
Sir Julian Horn-Smith, aged 61, was one of the founding members of Vodafone Group Plc and is considered to be one of the principal architects in the development of Vodafone’s International Strategy. He retired from the Vodafone Board in July 2006, where he held the title Deputy Chief Executive Officer.
Sir Julian is a Senior Advisor to UBS Investment Bank in London, Senior Advisor to CVC (Telecoms and Media) and holds a number of other directorships, including Lloyds Banking Group (Non-Executive Director), Martin Dawes Systems Limited (IT Systems), De La Rue plc and EMobile in Japan.
He is also a Trustee for the Hope for Tomorrow Charity, Chairman of the Turkish British Business Council and President of the Egyptian Exploration Society.