Eir’s Richard Moat to stay in Ireland, seek new opportunities

Birmingham-born executive has applied for Irish citizenship

Richard Moat of Eir: “I want to stay around and be a part of Irish business life.” Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Richard Moat of Eir: “I want to stay around and be a part of Irish business life.” Photograph: Aidan Crawley

 

Richard Moat, the English-born chief executive of Ireland’s former State telecoms incumbent, has had to become a bit of a forester to navigate the thickets of Irish business and public life since he joined Eir in 2012.

When he started, initially as chief financial officer, Eircom (as it was then) was fresh out of insolvency proceedings - a formerly bankrupt company, trying to find its way in a bankrupt nation.

Five-and-a-half years on, Eir is in solid financial shape, and on Friday reported its 12th consecutive quarter of earnings growth. Yet, this week, it still finds itself a magnet for bother, having controversially withdrawn from the State’s National Broadband Plan at the eleventh hour on Wednesday.

Moat will leave Eir as soon as French billionaire Xavier Niel and his NJJ completes a €3.5 billion majority buyout, possibly in April. His job is basically done.

You would think Moat, a no-nonsense, 63-year-old Brummie, would be on the first plane back to England will his share of the €100 million that will be split between senior managers following the buyout.

Citizenship

But, no. Moat likes Ireland so much, he has decided to become an Irishman.

Moat confirmed on Friday that he has applied for Irish citizenship and has bought a house here. He also appears to be looking for a new job in Dublin.

“I want to stay around and be a part of Irish business life,” said Moat. “I’m eligible to become a naturalised citizen, and I’ve bought a house in Dalkey.”

Moat had previously indicated, in 2016 that he and his wife might retire to Ireland, whenever his time at Eir was up. He now says, however, that he “has no intention of retiring” and suggested he is considering several job opportunities.

“Right now, I’m concentrating on running this business until I leave. But there are a number of possible avenues I could potentially go down afterwards. The next phase of my career will be here,” he said.

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