Facebook Ireland MD Sonia Flynn off to SoundCloud in Berlin

Kildare native is new international vice-president at HQ of music site

Facebook Ireland managing director Sonia Flynn is leaving the group this summer to join Swedish audio platform company SoundCloud in the newly created role of international vice-president.

Ms Flynn has been in charge of the social media giant’s fast-growing Irish operation since 2011.

“The past six years at Facebook’s international headquarters have been both exciting and professionally challenging. There have been many highlights in that time as we grew from a small group to what is now an incredibly talented team of more than 500 people in Dublin, responsible for areas such as safety and community operations, sales and engineering,” Ms Flynn said in a statement.

The US group announced that Ms Flynn will be succeeded by Gareth Lambe, currently sales, planning and operations director at Facebook EMEA.


Mr Lambe, who has been with Facebook for four years, previously ran its advertising operations and also served as acting head of office for Facebook Ireland in 2013.

“Music is a huge passion for me,” Ms Flynn said, “and the opportunity to join the SoundCloud team combines technology with music.”

175 million users

SoundCloud said Ms Flynn would help lead the company’s continued growth by identifying, assessing and acting on new market opportunities.

SoundCloud enables its users to upload, record, promote, and share their originally-created music. According to company figures, the service had over 175 million users at the end of last year, when it was rumoured to be the target of a possible acquisition by Twitter. It has a valuation approaching $1 billion.

Ms Flynn will be based at SoundCloud's Berlin headquarters and will report directly to SoundCloud's chief operating officer, Marc Strigel.

“We very much look forward to welcoming Sonia to SoundCloud.

“Her wealth of international experience, and proven success of growing and leading teams across multiple markets, will be critical as we look to rollout localisation and monetisation efforts around the world,” Mr Strigel said in a statement.

Humanities background One of the few women managing directors in the technology sector internationally, Ms Flynn

has a background in the humanities, with a degree in applied languages from the University of Coleraine and a masters in German literature from Queen’s University, Belfast.

She joined Facebook in 2009 as its director for community operations and, in 2011, was appointed head of office for Facebook Ireland. The Dublin office is Facebook’s Europe, Middle East and Africa headquarters.

Originally from Newbridge, Co Kildare, she previously worked for Google Ireland for nearly five years, rising through management ranks to become EMEA director of user operations, before moving to Facebook.

During her tenure, the Irish office expanded to more than 10 times its size when she joined. It currently has more than 500 employees working in the areas of safety and community operations, engineering, and IT infrastructure.

“I am delighted to take on this exciting role, continuing the fine leadership legacy of my colleague and friend, Sonia Flynn,” Mr Lambe said in a statement.

Karlin Lillington

Karlin Lillington

Karlin Lillington, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about technology