Business

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Where are they now?: Turlough O'Sullivan

ROISIN BURKE

Published 06/03/2011 | 05:00

FORMER Ibec boss Turlough O'Sullivan is to chair the new Irish branch of an international group for professionals working with distressed companies.

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After completing a BA at UCD, O'Sullivan deliberated between journalism and HR. An HR job at the ESB decided things. He went on to head up HR at Semperit Tyres in west Dublin, something of an industrial relations bear pit in the Seventies. He joined Ibec predecessor the Federated Union of Employers in 1975, running its manufacturing committee. He later became Ibec's main director of industrial relations, representing and advising its 7,000 member firms.

When O'Sullivan became director-general of Ibec in 2000 he was taking over batting for employers in social partnership negotiations, regarded as the key to the Irish 'economic miracle'. At this point, GDP growth was at 10 per cent, inflation was three per cent and pay deals were delivering up to five per cent increases.

Things were very different by the time he retired in 2009.

Late last year, O'Sullivan delivered his report for the HSE investigating foreign trips by staff and Siptu members paid for by a €2.35m fund. There were "serious failures" in the controls of how the monies were used, he found.

He has just been appointed chairman of Turnaround Management Association Ireland, an umbrella group for those working in areas like receivership and liquidation and restructuring of troubled companies. It has branches all over the world.

He is on the board of the Geneva-based International Organisation of Employers (IOE). He's also involved with the setting up of a pan-African employers' organisation. He has done consultancy work for the UN agency the International Labour Organisation. O'Sullivan is also on the board of Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin, in Dublin.

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