Gary McGann: Long career overshadowed by Anglo blot

Dubliner joined Anglo board in early 2004, was a director until nationalisation in 2009

Gary McGann, former non-executive director of Anglo Irish Bank, arriving at the Banking Inquiry, September 3rd, 2015. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Gary McGann, former non-executive director of Anglo Irish Bank, arriving at the Banking Inquiry, September 3rd, 2015. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

Although Gary McGann is highly respected within the business sphere for several fine achievements in a 47-year executive career, his five years as a director of Anglo Irish Bank will haunt him.

The Dubliner (65), joined Anglo’s board in January of 2004, as the bank cranked up its business model on the back of a soaring property market. He was director until the decision to nationalise it in 2009.

A qualified accountant, who retired as chief executive of listed paper group Smurfit Kappa last month, McGann has held prominent positions in the public and private sectors.

Initially a civil servant, he became financial controller of mobile phone company Ericsson Ireland before entering the drinks industry as chief executive of Gilbeys, his first top management role.

He was chief executive of Aer Lingus in the 1990s before joining the Jefferson Smurfit Group, the forerunner of Smurfit Kappa, which he brought to the stock market. He has also served as chairman of the Dublin Airport Authority.

Since retiring, he has taken on several directorships, including as chairman of Paddy Power, which is merging with Betfair.