Microsoft has announced its new general manager for Ireland with Vodafone UK’s Anne Sheehan taking up the role at the start of October.
Ms Sheehan will replace current managing director, Cathriona Hallahan, who is stepping down after heading up Microsoft Ireland for almost nine years. Ms Hallahan announced her decision to step down in December last year and said she would remain with the company until a successor was appointed.
In her new role, Ms Sheehan will be responsible for Microsoft’s sales, marketing and services business in Ireland. A particular focus will be on delivering business transformation with Microsoft’s customers and partners within the public and private sectors.
Ms Sheehan is currently Vodafone UK’s enterprise director with responsibility for sales, brand, product and solution design, services and government relations across multiple lines of business.
Prior to that, she ran Vodafone Ireland’s enterprise business in Ireland for four years, and worked with IBM in a number of senior positions including vice-president of sales and services for the Nordic region, sales and services director for IBM Ireland, head of channel, and head of infrastructure and technology services.
“I am delighted and honoured to join Microsoft. It is a company I have admired and worked in partnership with over recent years. Microsoft has been on a very exciting journey in Ireland. I look forward to working with the team to take the business forward in a market that has huge opportunity,” Ms Sheehan said.
“I am motivated by working with great teams, collaborating with our customers and winning in the market. I am passionate about fostering an environment where learning, being curious, bold and ambitious are core to achieving our goals. I feel incredibly privileged to be joining such a great team, and I look forward to us working to support our customers on their digital transformation journey together.”
The president of Microsoft Western Europe, Cindy Rose, welcomed the appointment. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Anne in the past, during my own time at Vodafone. I was always impressed by her high energy and pace, her growth mindset and customer obsession.
“I know she is passionate about partnering with businesses and the public sector, whatever their size, industry or ambitions, to help them find ways to use technology to drive success now and in the future. I also know her to be an empathetic and caring leader with deep commitment to building diverse and inclusive teams,” she said.
“I am confident that Anne will bring all of these qualities and more as she builds on the incredible foundation that the Microsoft Ireland team has established and to help accelerate the growth and transformation of Microsoft’s customers in Ireland.”
‘An amazing journey’
The appointment will bring an end to a long career with Microsoft for Ms Hallahan. She joined Microsoft in 1986 as employee number 24 in Ireland, and has spent the past 35 years with the company, including about 20 years working for the tech giant overseas.
She is responsible for driving Microsoft's commercial business on the island of Ireland, and is one of the most senior female business leaders in the State.
Wishing Ms Sheehan well in the new role, Ms Hallahan said it was an exciting time for Microsoft in Ireland.
“Leaving Microsoft is bittersweet for me. I have had such an amazing journey – literally and metaphorically – as I essentially grew up and matured in parallel with the company,” she said. “I have truly had a fantastic time and appreciate all that the company has enabled me to do and to learn. I now look forward to my next chapter, which will see me take on new and exciting challenges and apply my experience and knowledge to support other organisations to transform and grow.”
Ms Hallahan previously told The Irish Times she would seek to establish a portfolio of directorships and other roles on leaving Microsoft, and would consider opportunities in executive coaching.
Microsoft Ireland employs more than 2,700 people operating out of the company’s campus in Leopardstown, Dublin and its data centre in Dublin.