BusinessBusiness Awards

Former Glanbia chief Siobhán Talbot receives Distinguished Leader in Business award from The Irish Times

Talbot helmed Co Kilkenny-based dairy/nutrition group for 10 years, pivoting enterprise from dairy to sports nutrition

Siobhán Talbot, who stepped down last month as group managing director of Glanbia after 10 years at the helm, has been chosen as the recipient of the Distinguished Leader in Business award at the sixth annual Irish Times Business Awards, held in association with Bank of Ireland.

Accepting the award Ms Talbot said that from day one in Glanbia, she knew the culture was special.

“It’s the people here with me this evening that have made that culture live and breathe … it is a fantastic and amazing organisation with lots of opportunity,” she said. “I’ve just had the very best job, and I’ve just had the very best time. Glanbia is an incredibly special organisation.”

Having graduated from UCD, Ms Talbot trained as an accountant and spent seven years with professional services firm PwC. After a period working in Australia, she returned to Ireland and joined Glanbia (then Waterford Foods) in 1992 to set up an internal audit function.


Ms Talbot went on to hold several senior leadership roles, including a period as group finance director, before being appointed to lead the Co Kilkenny-based listed company in 2013.

Under her leadership, Glanbia was transformed from a local dairy producer to a global leader in sports nutrition and performance. In 2022, Glanbia completed the sale of its remaining minority interest in the dairy business to the co-operative society, allowing the plc to focus on its mission as a global nutrition company.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Ms Talbot said it had been a “privilege” to lead Glanbia. “The only constant was change and the pace of change in the past five years became so fast,” she said, citing in particular the challenges of Covid-19 pandemic and the challenges of inflation that arose post Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“There were tough years and there were some superb years,” she added.

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She said the high point of her decade in charge was the successful spin-out of its dairy business to co-op members in an entity now known as Tirlán, while also “building a strong [Irish headquartered] global business” focused on nutrition “for every step of life’s journey”.

Having left Glanbia last month, Ms Talbot has “no big plans” for this year other than to “take some down time” with her family. Her husband Billy and daughter Alice attended the awards ceremony, held in the Round Room of the Mansion House in Dublin.

Ms Talbot is a non-executive director of Irish building materials group CRH, a role she has held since 2019.

In 2018 Ms Talbot was chosen as the inaugural winner of The Irish Times Business Person of the Year award. And she won the monthly award in May 2023 after Glanbia upgraded its full-year earnings guidance on an improved outlook for margins in its performance nutrition business.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times