Eir appoints Carolan Lennon as chief executive

First female chief executive for telecoms provider

Eir’s new chief executive Carolan Lennon is pictured with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  launching the Eir Fund back in 2017. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

Eir’s new chief executive Carolan Lennon is pictured with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar launching the Eir Fund back in 2017. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

 

Telecommunications provider Eir said on Tuesday that it has appointed Carolan Lennon as its new chief executive, in a move which will see her guide Eir through its next phase of growth and connecting 300,000 homes in rural Ireland with fibre broadband.

Ms Lennon will assume the role from Richard Moat, who recently announced his intention to step down, after completion of the acquisition of a majority shareholding in eir by a consortium led by NJJ Telecom Europe. The acquisition is expected to complete in the first half of 2018.

A spokesperson for Eir said Ms Lennon is “an ideal candidate for the role”, and “will be instrumental in guiding eir through its next phase of growth and beyond.”

Currently managing director of Eir’s networks and wholesale division, Open Eir, Ms Lennon has had responsibility for managing the installation and control of E ir’s networks and broadband infrastructure across Ireland. This includes leading the rollout to connect 300,000 homes in rural Ireland with fibre broadband. Prior to joining Eir in 2010, Ms Lennon held a number of senior roles in the telecommunications and technology sectors, including consumer director and marketing director at Vodafone Ireland. She is currently a non-executive director of AIB Group and the Irish Management Institute.

Ms Lennon said she has one objective for the telecoms company.

“My priority and ambition is to work closely with the new owners on a strategic level to achieve one objective for Eir - to provide the best mobile and broadband network to every household and business across Ireland through multi-year investments in innovative yet simple solutions. I believe this will be achieved through maximising efficiencies internally within the company and providing uncomplicated offerings and packages to Irish consumers and businesses, ” she said.

Last month Eir announced it would exit the tender process for the National Broadband Plan, the government’s rural broadband rollout.

Ms Lennon is the first female chief executive of the telecoms group, and told The Irish Times back in 2014 that she is in favour of introducing quotas on boards to ensure gender balance.

“I believe the only way we can make that happen is to introduce quotas. Otherwise progress will be so slow we won’t make a difference,” she said at the time.

The telecoms provider also announced on Tuesday that David McRedmond, former chief executive of TV3 and current chief executive of An Post, will join the group as non-executive chairman designate. Mr McRedmond will take over from Carl Leaver, who will step down as chairman after having taken up the role in September 2017. Prior to working with TV3, Mr McRedmond was the commercial director of Eircom (now eir) and the managing director of Eircom Enterprises.

Acquisition

The new appointments follow a change in ownership at Eir. Back in December 2017, a consortium led by NJJ Telecom Europe (NJJ), part of NJJ Group, the private investment firm of telecoms investor and operator Xavier Niel, along with Iliad SA, a French operator, agreed to acquire a 64.5 per cent stake in Eir in a deal that valued the group at €3.5 billion. The acquisition, which is conditional upon receipt of certain regulatory approvals, is expected to complete in the first half of 2018.