Glen Dimplex hires Fergal Leamy as chief operating officer

Coillte chief executive to succeed Michael Maher in role at Irish heating and energy group

Fergal Leamy:  set to join Glen Dimplex as its chief operating officer.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Fergal Leamy: set to join Glen Dimplex as its chief operating officer. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw


Coillte chief executive Fergal Leamy is set to become the group chief operating officer of Glen Dimplex, the hugely successful Irish electric heating and renewable energy group founded by entrepreneur Martin Naughton.

Mr Leamy will succeed Michael Maher in this role with Glen Dimplex. It is understood that Mr Maher, who joined Glen Dimplex in 2000, is moving to another position within the group.

In January, Coillte announced that Mr Leamy would leave the company in June to take a position in the private sector. However, it was not revealed what this new role would be.

It is understood that Mr Leamy was approached by Glen Dimplex about the role last year. He is expected to take a few weeks off on leaving Coillte before taking on his new role with Glen Dimplex, where he is expected to play a key role in the company’s ever-growing international operations.

Appliances and heaters

Glen Dimplex was founded in 1973 in Newry and has more than 9,000 employees around the world. Privately owned, it produces a range of leading consumer appliances and heaters found in millions of homes around the world.

It is currently led by chief executive Fergal Naughton, Martin Naughton’s son, and has its group headquarters in Dublin.

Mr Leamy was chief executive of the State forestry group for more than four years and is credited with having achieved a significant turnaround in the State agency’s business.

In January, Coillte chair Róisín Brennan said Mr Leamy had done an “outstanding job” by transforming it both operationally and financially. “The business is now generating significant and sustainable operating cash flows, is more customer-focused and is increasing its return to the State as shareholder,” she said.

‘Organisational restructuring’

At that time, Mr Leamy noted that Coillte had completed another successful year in 2018, which involved a “step change” in earnings from €85 million to €115 million.

He said this was the result of “intense organisational restructuring and investment”.

“We also achieved a successful sale of our wind assets for €136 million which represented a five-times return on our investment. Coillte has now achieved its strategic objective of achieving a 5 per cent cash yield on its €1.4 billion asset base.”

Mr Leamy won The Irish Times Business Person of the Month Award for September 2018, in association with KPMG, for its success in selling its wind assets to Greencoat Renewables.