Paul McCann to succeed John Purdy as chief executive of Ergo

Incoming CEO to lead IT services company, which is due to hit €100m revenue milestone

 Paul McCann, former chair and incoming CEO, Ergo and John Purdy, former CEO and incoming chairman. Photograph: Maura Hickey

Paul McCann, former chair and incoming CEO, Ergo and John Purdy, former CEO and incoming chairman. Photograph: Maura Hickey

 

Ergo chief executive John Purdy is to step down from the role after 27 years and swap places with chairman Paul McCann.

Mr Purdy, who along with Tim Sheehy founded the IT services business in 1993 as a two-man firm selling toner cartridges for printers, said Mr McCann was his obvious successor.

“Paul knows the business inside out so it is in safe hands. The main challenge for me will be ensuring I keep out of his way,” Mr Purdy told The Irish Times.

Mr McCann, who currently serves as Ergo’s chairman, will join on a full-time basis from Grant Thornton, where is senior partner in the firm’s financial services advisory department. He is also the interim chief financial officer with Permanent TSB, a role he is to retain until September 2021 to ensure a smooth transition for his successor.

Ergo, which recently announced 60 new jobs, currently employs 450 people locally. It offers IT solutions ranging from cloud and managed services to software and infrastructure.

The company has more than doubled turnover over the last decade with annual revenues now in excess of €95 million. As well as enjoying its own success, Ergo has also spun out a number of companies, including Fenergo, which late last month was confirmed as the Republic’s third official tech unicorn with a valuation of over $1 billion (€828 million).

Mr McCann previously served as Grant Thornton’s managing partner from 2012 to 2017. Under his watch, revenues at the firm rose from €41 million to €115.7 million, while headcount increased to 1144 people from 417. He became chairman of Ergo in 2015.

“It became clear to me some time ago that Paul would be a natural to succeed me if he was available. He has a deep understanding of our business and values, combined with a growth mindset and focus on customers that has always been the engine of Ergo’s success,” said Mr Purdy.

With the local IT services sector going through a period of rapid consolidation, Ergo is refocusing on a growth-through-acquisition strategy that Mr McCann will now lead.

“The opportunity to become Ergo chief executive dovetailed perfectly with my own aspirations to lead a company at the cutting edge of business-critical technologies,” he said.

“I have always had the utmost respect for Ergo as a highly skilled IT provider and as an employer of talented people who are synonymous with its success. I look forward to helping to write the next chapter in a great Irish success story,” Mr McCann added.

Ergo is forecasting it will surpass the €100 million revenue milestone in fiscal 2021.