Top Enterprise Ireland executive quits to return to private sector after less than a year

Walter Hobbs curently on gardening leave

Walter Hobbs was hired last May to “develop and lead all EI’s investment and finance strategy and activities”.

Walter Hobbs was hired last May to “develop and lead all EI’s investment and finance strategy and activities”.

 

Walter Hobbs, one of the most senior executives at Enterprise Ireland (EI) who headed up its investment arm, has quit the State agency after less than 11 months in the role.

Mr Hobbs was hired last May to “develop and lead all EI’s investment and finance strategy and activities”, the agency said upon his appointment. A high-profile figure with a long career in the private sector, he was previously a director of KPMG and AIB Corporate Finance, and also a partner in ACT Venture Capital.

He confirmed on Thursday that he was on gardening leave’ having resigned this week, and he plans to return to the private sector.

“I wanted to move faster towards my vision of change and modernisation than some other people,” he said. “I was on a mission. If I couldn’t implement it as fast as I wanted, I decided it was best to move on.”

Mr Hobbs said it was his first experience of working in the public sector. He plans to return to his previous activities in the private sector, advising growing companies and seeking board positions.

“There was no row [at EI] or anything like that. But I’m fortunate to have choices, and leaving was the choice I made. It has only just happened, so perhaps I will give my reflections to [EI]board members in coming weeks.”

He acknowledged that hsi time in EI had been short, but insisted he had “achieved a lot” while there.

“I have made people aware of what needs to be done,” he said. “The industry is now very complex, and companies need to be constantly innovating.

Enterprise Ireland said: “Walter was a valued member of the senior management team and we would like to thank him for his hard work, dedication and contribution to Enterprise Ireland’s investment strategy during his time with the organisation and to wish him well in the next chapter of his career.”