DCC’s Fergal O’Dwyer declares intention to stay when CEO leaves

Disruption to be minimised as Tommy Breen step downs in July after nine years as CEO

DCC chief executive Tommy Breen: has been with the company for three decades. He took the decision to step down ahead of speculation next year as he approached his 60th birthday. Photograph: Dave Meehan

DCC chief executive Tommy Breen: has been with the company for three decades. He took the decision to step down ahead of speculation next year as he approached his 60th birthday. Photograph: Dave Meehan

 

DCC’s long-standing chief financial officer Fergal O’Dwyer has given the fuel distribution-to-technology services group assurances that he remains committed to the company for the near term as it prepared for the early retirement of its chief executive, according to sources.

The affirmation will help minimise disruption at the top of DCC as Tommy Breen, who has led the company for the past nine years, prepares to retire in July, to be replaced by Donal Murphy, head of DCC’s energy division, the largest part of the group.

Mr Breen (58) has been with the company for the past three decades. He took the decision to step down this year to get ahead of inevitable speculation next year as he approached his 60th birthday. Mr O’Dwyer turned 57 last month and has served as chief financial officer at the group since 1994.

A spokesman for company declined to comment on Mr O’Dwyer’s commitment.

Mr Murphy has been managing director of DCC Energy, the largest part of DCC, which makes about two-thirds of group trading profit, since 2006.

The energy division is to make up an even greater portion of earnings in future, after it unveiled a deal last month to buy oil giant Shell’s liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) business in Hong Kong and Macau for the equivalent of about €140 million, marking its first foray into the Asian market. Mr Breen said at the time the deal would be used as a launch pad for further acquisitions in the region in the coming years.

Environmental business

Meanwhile, the group is selling its environmental business, which treats and recycles hazardous and non-hazardous waste in Ireland and the UK, to London-based private equity firm Exponent. The environmental unit accounts for less than 10 per cent of DCC’s earnings.

FTSE 100 component DCC reports full-year results on May 16th.

Mr Breen is one of a number of chief executives at Irish companies who are stepping down this year, to be succeeded by insiders.

Kerry Group’s Stan McCarthy is retiring in September as he turns 60, to be replaced by Edmond Scanlon, head of the food ingredients group’s fast-growing Asia Pacific division. Tullow Oil’s founding chief executive Aidan Heavey stepped down last week to become chairman. He was succeeded by company veteran Paul McDade.

Bank of Ireland boss Richie Boucher recently revealed he plans to exit by the end of the year, with company insiders Liam McLaughlin, head of the lender’s Irish retail business, and Andrew Keating, chief financial officer, among the favourites to take his place, according to odds from bookmaker Paddy Power.