Business Irish

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Former Aer Lingus CFO lands top role at United Drug

Emmet Oliver Deputy Business Editor

The former chief financial officer of Aer Lingus, Sean Coyle, has landed a senior executive role at United Drug, Ireland's biggest drug wholesaler, the Irish Independent has learned.

Mr Coyle, one of the youngest CFOs to have worked for Aer Lingus, is understood to be taking over as managing director of United Drug's healthcare supply chain, aviation sources said.

In December Aer Lingus surprised many in the aviation industry when it announced that Mr Coyle was leaving the company, just over a year after joining the carrier.

He had previously worked for Ryanair, where he had been director of scheduled revenue.

It is rare for senior Ryanair executives to move to Aer Lingus and Mr Coyle's arrival was something of a coup for then Aer Lingus chief executive Dermot Mannion.

Mr Coyle made several financial presentations for Aer Lingus and was widely seen in the industry as a viable successor to head the airline when Mr Mannion departed.

However, the Aer Lingus board, led by chairman Colm Barrington, surprised many by opting instead for German Christoph Mueller, a former executive with Sabena and TUI Travel Group.

Mr Coyle subsequently left the airline in December.

He was followed a few weeks after by deputy chief executive Niall Walsh, who had previously worked in a senior management position at Dunnes Stores.

No detailed reason was given for either departure. However, it was reported that Mr Mueller wanted to pursue a different strategy to that favoured by the two men.

Mr Coyle is the latest in a long line of young executives to work in Aer Lingus before landing a senior post in another sector.


Among them is former CFO Brian Dunne, who became a senior executive at ACE Aviation Holdings Inc, the parent company of Air Canada, and Seamus Kearney, a former operations director who now works for Jacob Fruitfield.

The most well-known departure was that of Willie Walsh, the ex-CEO who now runs British Airways.

It is understood that news of Mr Coyle's appointment has been circulated to staff at United Drug and that he will be taking up the post in April.

The healthcare supply chain division is the largest business unit within the company, and employs more than 550 people with sales in excess of €1.1bn. It generates close to one-third of group profits.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Promoted Links

Also in Business