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Government appoints leading private sector figures to help deliver on jobs plan

Date: 12 March 2013 

6 Industry Partners will also join newly configured National Competitiveness Council 

The Taoiseach and the Minister for Jobs today (Tuesday) announced the appointment of 6 Industry Partners to assist with the implementation and monitoring of the seven "Disruptive Reforms" identified by Government for implementation in 2013 as part of the Action Plan for Jobs.

The intention is that the 6 Industry Partners will bring their skills and experience to bear in monitoring the implementation of the Disruptive Reforms, help identify opportunities for greater efficiency in the delivery of the proposals and help deliver greater collaboration between the public and private sectors in delivering jobs policies.

The six Industry Partners appointed by Government are;

  1. Liam Casey is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of PCH International 
  2. John Herlihy* is Vice President, International SMB Sales and Head of Google Ireland 
  3. Sean O’Driscoll is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Glen Dimplex Group
  4. Louise Phelan is Vice President of Global Operations Europe Middle East and Africa for PayPal 
  5. Heather Reynolds is an owner and Director of Eishtec 
  6. Dave Shanahan is Head of Strategic Health Initiatives worldwide in AbbVie.

The 6 Industry Partners will join the Action Plan for Jobs Implementation and Monitoring Group, a high level Officials and Advisers grouping, co-chaired by the Secretary Generals of the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.  In parallel with their role on the Action Plan for Jobs Implementation Group the Industry Partners will be appointed to sit on a newly reconfigured National Competitiveness Council.

In addition, as part of the new mandate for the National Competitiveness Council the NCC will be charged with working directly with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in advising on the content of the 'Building Competitive Advantage' section of future Action Plan for Jobs reports.

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, said:

"Getting Ireland working again is the top priority for the Government. Our Action Plan for Jobs is the driver behind many of the reforms underway to make Ireland more attractive and competitive for jobs and investment. This Government has always welcomed input and advice from Ireland's entrepreneurs as we work together to create new jobs and grow our economy. The assistance of six industry partners and their wealth of experience will help us deliver on some of our major goals in the Action Plan for Jobs and will also influence new competitiveness policy into the future."

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said:

"Working in partnership with experienced industry figures can only improve the roll-out of the Disruptive Reforms over the coming year. Their experience and perspective should prove invaluable as we take on these strategically significant challenges.  In parallel, a newly configured NCC will generate policy advice and position papers that will also benefit from the involvement of senior industry figures that will also now have exposure to the practical challenges of policy implementation.   The sharing of experiences on both sides can, I believe, lead to better policy formulation and better policy implementation.  This can only help us in achieving the vital task of growing our economy and getting our people back to work in increasing numbers."


Notes to Editors

  • Action Plan for Jobs 2013

Action Plan 2013 outlines 333 actions to be implemented before 31st December 2013 by 16 Departments and 46 Agencies. Further, it also outlines 7 Disruptive Reforms - high-impact measures with highly ambitious deadlines, implemented in partnership with senior industry figures and selected because of their potential to have an immediate effect on job-creation.

These are seven initiatives which the Government believes can have a significant impact on job creation, present new opportunities to support businesses, and where Ireland has an existing or under‐utilised strength. These Disruptive Reforms represent a new way of creating focus on opportunities which require support across a number of Government Departments. The goals attached to them are ambitious in nature and they have aggressive timescales in which they will be delivered. They will also require new ways of working.

  • Disruptive Reforms

JobsPlus – over two years the State will pay €1 of every €4 it costs an employer to recruit a long-term unemployed person off the Live Register

ICT Skills – provide an additional 2,000 ICT graduate level professionals in 2013, and by 2018 lead Europe in terms of ICT graduates as a percentage of all third level graduates

Energy Efficiency – the Government will create a €70million Energy Efficiency Fund to support 20 major projects in 2013 and ultimately create 5,000 jobs

Trading Online – get 2,000 more small businesses trading online in 2013 and 2014, with the creation of 3,200 jobs

Business Licences – create a single licensing application system for up to 25 licences in the retail sector, saving retailers over €20million per annum

Big Data – make Ireland one of the leading countries in Europe for Big Data, a sector growing by up to 40% per annum

Health Innovation Hub – Government will establish a world-renowned centre to establish Ireland as a leading location for start-up and growing medtech and healthcare companies 

  • Industry Partners

Sean O'Driscoll
Sean O’Driscoll is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Glen Dimplex Group.   He joined Glen Dimplex in 1990 as Group Finance Director, and was appointed Deputy Chief Executive in 1994, Group Chief Executive in 1998 and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 2011.  

Prior to joining Glen Dimplex he was a partner in KPMG.  He is a member of the Advisory Group of the Irish Government appointed Global Irish Economic Forum, of the EU-Japan Business Roundtable and a member of the President’s Consultative Board of University College Cork, a former member of the Government appointed Enterprise Advisory Group, which advised the Irish Government on the implementation of its enterprise strategy and of the Ireland Asia High Level Strategy Group.  He is also a former non-executive Director of AIB.  

A graduate of University College Cork and a Chartered Accountant, he was awarded an Honorary OBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for services to British industry.   Sean was a recipient of the Inaugural Cork Dublin Business person of the year award in 2011.

Heather Reynolds
Heather Reynolds has over 20 years industry experience across a number of Blue Chip organisations including AOL, Dell and TalkTalk.  She is a confident, decisive leader who is able to clearly develop, deliver and achieve superior results.

As Director of Operations in AOL/Talk Talk for 12 years she led a team of over 5000 people across 13 sites and 3 geographies in the delivery of 10 million customer contacts annually.  She is a motivated leader focused on creating high performance teams to drive innovation and best in class service. Heather was responsible for the achievement of multiple global customer service awards during her time with AOL UK in addition to the personal achievement of Contact Centre Manager of the year 2007 (CCMA).

Heather is a leader who transforms business practices through stakeholder engagement and working relationships. Experienced in running multi-cultural business across Ireland, UK, India, South Africa and Holland Heather has unique experience in process improvement and service delivery.

In 2010, Heather along with Brian Barry and Colm Tracey setup Eishtec an outsourced contact centre providing tailored customer service solutions.  A new, progressive company that has to date delivered over 400 jobs across Waterford and Wexford and will grow to 650 by end of 2013.  An indigenous, 100% export business Eishtec is one of the big success stories in the South East.  

John Herlihy
Vice President, International SMB Sales and Head of Google Ireland. As vice president of international SMB sales, John drives Google's international online advertising sales, providing online advertising solutions to small and medium businesses (SMB) in more than 50 countries across the globe.

Based at Google's EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) headquarters in Dublin, John also manages teams in Ireland, EMEA and in the Asia Pacific Region (APAC). John joined Google in 2005 and built its online sales and operations channels in new and existing markets across EMEA.

In 2011 under John’s leadership, Google increased its investment in Ireland through the expansion of its Barrow Street campus with the acquisition of its EMEA headquarters, the acquisition of Dublin’s tallest office building and also investing in a new data centre in Dublin.

Prior to joining Google, John held senior management positions at several global technology companies including First Data, PeopleSoft, Adobe Systems, Inc. and Oracle Corporation.
John began his career as a chartered accountant at global accountancy practice KPMG in its Dublin office, before relocating to the U.S. in 1993. He holds a bachelor of commerce (honours) from University College Dublin and is a qualified chartered accountant.

Louise Phelan
Louise Phelan is Vice President of Global Operations Europe Middle East and Africa for PayPal leading 1,800 people in Dublin, Dundalk and Berlin.  Global Operations comprises of Customer Service, Risk Operations and Merchant Services, supporting 13 different languages.   This operation became the European Centre of Excellence for PayPal in 2008.  Louise joined PayPal in 2006.

Prior to joining PayPal in June 2006, Louise was a member of the Senior Management Team for GE Money, a division of General Electric (GE), which specialises in small ticket lending for a client base comprising both consumers and commercial customers.  

Louise joined the board of Ryanair in 2012 as a non-executive director.  She is a member of the Board of the American Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, CCMA Ireland, the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) and the International Women’s Forum.

In 2012 Louise was awarded the Sir Michael Smurfit Achievement Award by The Ireland Chamber of Commerce United States. Also in that year Louise was presented with an Outstanding Contribution to the Irish Industry Award by the Contact Centre Management Association and was both the In Business Editors Choice Business Woman of the Year and the Newstalk Business Person of the Year.

Dave Shanahan
Dave Shanahan has extensive experience in the European Pharmaceutical industry having held senior commercial positions in Irish operations for Zeneca and Pfizer. He was Country Manager Pfizer Ireland 2000-2007, Director Pfizer UK and former vice President of the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (2006).

He joined Irish company, Charter Medical as founding CEO in 2007 to deliver advanced clinical diagnostics and geriatric care at community level. Charter became a national award winner for its delivery of advanced ambulatory care to older citizens in a community setting.  

In 2009, he joined IDA Ireland as Global Head of Life Sciences, responsible for IDA's global team winning Project investments in Life Sciences from multinationals in the Pharmaceutical, Medical Devices, food and Healthcare industries. In this role he championed a national approach to healthcare innovation and a joining up of academic, business and clinical efforts to harness Ireland's Life Sciences and IT industry to support health related enterprise develop products, services, jobs and exports for Ireland.

He joined Abbott Pharmaceuticals HQ in Chicago in June 2012, as Head of Strategic Health Initiatives worldwide. He holds this position in AbbVie, the recently formed Biopharmaceutical spin-out from Abbott. In this role he works with global stakeholders to support them developing better care pathways for patients and exploring new ways to make healthcare systems themeselves become more sustainable.

AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott.  AbbVie employs approximately 21,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries. AbbVie has 3 sites of operation in Ireland - 2 manufacturing facilities, 1 in Sligo and 1 in Cork. The company has commercial operations in Dublin. AbbVie in Ireland employs over 400 people in advanced medicines development, commericialisation and manufacture.

Liam Casey
Liam Casey is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of PCH International. PCH creates, develops and delivers the world’s best technology products for the world’s best brands. The company employs 5,000 people around the world. PCH reported revenues of US$710 million in 2011, and 2010 revenue of US$413 million.

Liam identified the enormous potential and opportunities for growth in China in the mid-1990s, and he founded PCH in Cork, Ireland in 1996.  Liam is widely recognized as a thought leader on international trade and business in China. His entrepreneurial flair and talent for spotting new opportunities has revolutionized international commerce and disrupted traditional supply chain models, contributing to the success of many of the world’s largest technology brands. Liam's vision for PCH has dramatically shortened the time-to-market for the latest products on the market. He developed a unique end-to-end integrated supply chain solution, including product design through to a fulfillment business that offers customers the longest global reach with the leanest supply chain inventories.

Liam was awarded Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year – Ireland accolade in 2007, Business & Finance International Irish Business Person of the Year in 2009 and All-Ireland Marketing Champion in 2012. Liam was admitted as a fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Directors in June 2011. He was appointed International Start-up Ambassador to China by Enterprise Ireland, an Irish Government agency, in March 2012. Liam was also appointed a member of the Advisory Group for the Global Irish Network by the Irish Government in April 2012. He is currently Patron of the Asia Pacific Ireland Business Forum.

 The press release can be accessed here.