Carolan Lennon to leave after four years of profit growth and capital investment
eir, Ireland’s leading telecoms provider, has announced the appointment of Oliver Loomes as its Chief Executive Officer-designate. Loomes will join the company on 1 February. Following four successful years at the company’s helm Carolan Lennon, CEO since 2018, informed the Board last summer of her intention to leave in 2022 to pursue further career opportunities. Carolan will work with Oliver to ensure a smooth transition in the months ahead.
Oliver, an experienced corporate leader, has spent 30 years working in consumer-focused industries, his most recent position was Chairman and Managing Director at Diageo Ireland. He began his career with Mars and held a number of roles in the UK and Ireland. Oliver worked with Diageo across a range of positions, including as Marketing and Innovation Director (Ireland), where he led the Arthur’s Day campaign as part of the Guinness 250th anniversary celebration, and Global Brand Director for Guinness. A Dubliner, Oliver holds a B.Comm and MBS degree from UCD.
Carolan departs eir having led four consecutive financial years of growth in profits, as well as the significant expansion of the company’s customer base, during her tenure. From 2018 to 2021, eir’s fibre broadband customer base grew by 30% to 823,000 customers, while the number of mobile bill pay customers grew by 60% to 869,000. Additionally, more than 500,000 premises have been added to eir’s fibre-to-the-home broadband network during her time overseeing an unprecedented investment of over €1bn by the company in its infrastructure.
David McRedmond, Chairman of eir, said: "Carolan has successfully steered eir through a momentous rebuilding phase that has seen significant expansion of both its customer base and network reach. She and her team have built the platform for future success. The large-scale investment that eir’s shareholders have made in the company positions it as, not only Ireland’s leading telecoms provider, but one that is future-proofed to navigate pace of technological change. This investment serves one clear purpose: to provide our customers with the world-class products and services they need.
“eir is part of the fabric of Irish life, its purpose is to connect for a better Ireland and with that in mind, our objective was to appoint an Irish CEO who truly understands eir’s significance. With decades of experience in leading iconic brands, Oliver Loomes is the ideal person to lead eir’s next phase, focused on developing a world-class customer experience and a brand that Ireland can be proud of.”
Xavier Niel, Director at eir and Chairman of NJJ Holdings, majority owner of eir, said: “When we acquired eir in 2018 we saw an urgent need to transform the company into a true market leader, not only offering our customers superb choice and value, but to invest in building the foundations for long-term future success.
“Carolan’s four years as CEO have been marked by extraordinary progress on this journey, not just in terms of financial results and customer growth, but in innovation. She has been responsible for, among many other developments, the launch of eir’s market-leading 5G network, the creation of the GoMo mobile brand, last year’s merger of eir Business and Evros to create business ICT solutions provider eir evo, a first for the Irish market, and insourcing around 1,200 customer service jobs. Her dedication has driven eir to its strongest position yet, and the company owes her a great gratitude for her tireless commitment and superb leadership.”
Niel added: “The journey of eir’s growth continues now under Oliver’s stewardship. eir is part of Ireland’s fabric, connecting families and communities for generations, and Oliver’s success in fostering storied brands and products so part of the national consciousness positions him to take eir to the next level.”
Outgoing CEO Carolan Lennon said: “It has been a true privilege to lead eir over these last four years. Years which have seen us invest, grow, innovate and face unprecedented challenges without ever slowing our progress. I am proud to have been part of eir’s story and I have enjoyed each day working alongside an inspiring team. As we emerge from the pandemic our country has endless opportunities for growth. Ireland is one of the most innovative countries in the world. We are educated, ambitious and adaptable, but we can only realise our full potential if we have world class connectivity infrastructure in place. That is what eir makes possible and that is what eir is building every day. I look forward to seeing what the next stage of eir’s transformation will bring.”
Incoming CEO Oliver Loomes, said: “eir is both a company with a long and rich history and a fantastic culture of creativity and investment that is unrivalled in the market. I am excited to continue and expand that vision for growth. The last two years have only accelerated our reliance on the digital world, be that learning or working from home, or playing or shopping online. eir has been innovating in telecoms for decades and its continued ambition to give its customers the tools they need to connect in an ever-changing digital world underlines its commitment to remaining at the forefront of the market. I look forward to helping bring the latest technology to our networks and advance eir’s position as Ireland’s leading telecoms provider.”