Business Irish

Thursday 22 August 2019

Former Google executive appointed CFO of Datalex

Datalex’s products help airlines to boost revenue by enabling them to offer additional services and products to passengers when they’re booking their tickets
Datalex’s products help airlines to boost revenue by enabling them to offer additional services and products to passengers when they’re booking their tickets
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Former Google executive Niall O’Sullivan has been appointed chief financial officer of troubled travel software firm Datalex.

Mr O’Sullivan takes over from Dónal Rooney, the former Nama executive who announced he was leaving the company in February after less than four months in the role.

Prior to joining Datalex, Mr O’Sullivan was finance director at Google where he had full responsibility for accounting, financial compliance and contractual controls for the EMEA region.

Mr O’Sullivan has led global finance operations and executed finance transformation projects for technology PLCs such as Pearson and Vodafone, and with corporations such as Oracle and Dell.

Sean Corkery, interim CEO of Datalex said: “I am delighted to welcome Niall to Datalex and look forward to working with him. Niall brings a wealth of financial and operational experience which I know will add significant value to our future performance and growth”.

Earlier this month the chief executive of Datalex, Aidan Brogan, resigned with immediate effect.

Mr Brogan's resignation came a week after the group's chairman Paschal Taggart announced he was stepping down, having served as a director at Datalex for 17 years and chairman for nine.

At the beginning of this month Datalex suspended trading in its shares because it was not able to publish financial accounts by April 30, as required under Central Bank of Ireland rules.

Trading will remain suspended until the accounts have been published, which it is understood may not happen until the end of June.

The company itself earlier this year launched a review of its 2018 financial performance after uncovering what the board described as "significant accounting irregularities".

A report by PwC for the company found it had failed to apply the international IFRS 15 accounting standard "appropriately" to its results for the first half of 2018.

That relates to rules on how future revenue streams from contracts with customers are booked.

The misstated results for the first half of 2018 were down to early recognition of revenues associated with a significant customer - understood to be German airline Lufthansa.

The report found that Datalex had incorrectly recognised about $3.5m (€3.1m) of revenue for the contract in the first six months of 2018, which has subsequently been corrected by the group.

It also noted that about $2.9m of other services and platform revenue was incorrectly recognised in the period, of which $700,000 is not recoverable.

The balance will be recognised in respect of the second half of 2018, or in the 2019 financial year.

The review also found that there were "material weaknesses" in Datalex's internal control environment.

Datalex has offices in Dublin, Manchester, Beijing, Amsterdam and Atlanta.

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