IDA boss isn’t done just yet

Outgoing chief executive in attendance at PayPal jobs announcement

 Barry O’Leary: gaggle of mandarins queued up to wish him well on his departure.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Barry O’Leary: gaggle of mandarins queued up to wish him well on his departure. Photograph: Alan Betson

Fri, Jun 20, 2014, 01:04

Barry O’Leary, the outgoing IDA Ireland chief executive, was in attendance at the PayPal jobs gig at the Shelbourne, although he didn’t say much: the ministers clearly had that covered.

O’Leary, who will be succeeded by Forfás boss Martin Shanahan in August, milled around the room afterwards, where a gaggle of mandarins queued up to wish him well on his departure.

One expressed his hope that O’Leary enjoys his “retirement”, prompting the genial 62-year-old to loudly proclaim he that has “no such intention”.

I collared O’Leary afterwards to ask about his plans. He confirmed that he would keep working, and has a number of non-executive directorships already lined up. Whereabouts? “Ha ha!” he replied.

O’Leary has a pharmaceuticals background, so UDG Healthcare, where one of his IDA predecessors, Kieran McGowan, served on the board, could be a possibility.

McGowan also chaired CRH after he left the IDA, while Sean Dorgan, another former boss of the agency, picked up plum roles at Tesco, Ulster Bank and FBD.

O’Leary won’t go hungry, anyway.

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