Balancing Irish boards, Perrigo’s restructuring and businesses struggle to recover from pandemic

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

Irish boards are improving their gender balance, but there is still a long way go. Photograph: iStock

Irish boards are improving their gender balance, but there is still a long way go. Photograph: iStock

 

A new report finds women were appointed to six of every 10 seats filled on the boards of Irish public limited companies in 2019, marking a dramatic swing for Ireland from the bottom to the top of a list of European countries in the space of a year. Joe Brennan has the details. But Cantillon says although it is an improvement, there is still some way to go.

Drugs giant Perrigo is implementing a complex restructuring of the balance sheet of its former Elan unit to facilitate the payment of a dividend to its New York-listed parent company. Mark Paul reports.

Mark also reports on a new call for Irish businesses to apply to a €500 million Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund, including those that help fight climate change and develop food and health resources.

Dublin and Cork airports are in talks about opening pre-departure Covid-19 testing units in the airports, with the service potentially available at both airports from as early as next month. Barry O’Halloran has the details.

Sticking with the pandemic, Irish company Open Orphan said its London-based subsidiary hVivo is to run the world’s first Covid-19 human challenge trials, in which healthy volunteers are deliberately infected with coronavirus to assess the effectiveness of experimental vaccines.

Remote working may be here to stay, with nearly 40 per cent of business leaders in Ireland saying the majority of their staff will be working remotely by the end of 2020. Eoin Burke-Kennedy reports.

A new survey from Chambers Ireland says businesses in the State saw sales fall by more than 30 per cent in August, even as the economy reopened to a large part, and there is worse expected for the final quarter of 2020. Peter Hamilton has the details.

Facebook’s threat to leave the European market in response to the Irish Data Protection Commission’s preliminary decision on the company’s data transfers to the United States may well go down as one of the most ludicrous corporate legal hissy fits of modern times, Karlin Lillington says.

Since we are all spending more time at home these days, perhaps it is time to upgrade your home entertainment set up. Ciara O’Brien has a few suggestions

Ciara also reviews a smartwatch that claims to be the world’s most advanced wearable - the Withings ScanWatch.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has devastated some hospitality-focused businesses, Tempii founder Hannah Wrixon has turned it to her advantage.

The London Business School’s Prof Gary Hamel from is on a mission to get rid of the power and negativity of bureaucracy from our organisations. In his new book, Humanocracy, he lays out a manifesto for creating organisations as amazing as the people inside them, replacing traditional hierarchies with a more meritocratic, innovative and human-centred approach to management.

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