Ornua set for executive shake-up as three senior figures to go

Managing director of Ornua’s global foods division Róisín Hennerty latest to step down

Ornua is set for an executive shake-up after three more senior leaders indicated they would leave the company in the coming months.

Managing director of Ornua’s global foods division Róisín Hennerty will step down from her position in mid-2024. Ms Hennerty joined Ornua Co-operative in Dublin before moving to the US where she was responsible for the strategic marketing and launch of Kerrygold and Dubliner Cheese. She has led the division to almost €2 billion in annual sales, and is credited with getting it off the ground in the US market having targeted the premium food brand segment in high-end retailers.

Ms Hennerty was named The Irish Times Businessperson of the Year in 2020.

The company is set to start recruiting for a replacement in the near future.


Ms Hennerty’s decision follows the resignation of Iarlaith Smyth, managing director of Ornua Foods North America, earlier this month. Mr Smyth is leaving the business later in the year to take up a new role, and Ornua is currently seeking his successor.

Meanwhile, Ken Maguire, head of operations at Ornua’s ingredients division, plans to leave the business later this year for a new role.

Ornua has seen some change at the top in recent months, with chief executive John Jordan announcing in August that he would step down to take up a new role with a US-based private equity company. The board appointed chief financial officer Donal Buggy as interim chief executive during the transition period.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist