Enterprise Ireland (EI) has named Leo Clancy to take over as CEO from the departing Julie Sinnamon.
The incoming CEO is currently the IDA’s Head of Technology, Consumer & Business Services. He’ll take over from Ms Sinnamon, who replaced Frank Ryan as chief executive officer of the state agency in 2013 and had announced her own plan to step down more than a year ago.
Before joining the IDA in 2013 Leo Clancy worked in the private sector, most recently as Service Delivery Director at telecom networks provider Enet. He is an Electronic Engineer and started his career in Ericsson.
EI is the state agency tasked with supporting domestic businesses to add jobs by expanding into export markets, including investing in high potential startups. The IDA’s role to to support jobs growth by attracting and retaining foreign direct investment.
There were 220,613 people working in Enterprise Ireland-supported firms at the end of 2020. There was little net jobs growth during the year as Brexit and the Covid pandemic struck.
EI client companies operating in the food sector as well as in information communications technology reported net job losses.
The hit to domestic firms meant Enterprise Ireland’s role expanded to include providing specific pandemic supports.
Last year, 990 companies were approved for the EI Covid-19 business financial planning grant, while €142m was provided to almost 2,000 companies under a range of Covid-19 funding initiatives introduced in response to the pandemic, including €11.8m under the Online Retail Scheme and €124m in funding under the Sustaining Enterprise Fund.
There was also €8.2m approved under the Enterprise Centres Fund. In addition, 8,650 companies were supported through Enterprise Ireland’s Covid-19 information hub, online support and helpline, according to the State agency’s annual report in January.
The appointment of Leo Casey as CEO following a year long process was welcomed by EI chairman Terence O’Rourke.
Mr O’Rourke said one of the new CEO’s initial projects will be to oversee the completion and implementation of Enterprise Ireland's new strategy for indigenous Irish industry to secure continued growth for the decade ahead.
The new CEO is also charged with expanding the scale and reach of Irish businesses with increased focus on issues such as the transition to a low carbon economy and the further digitalisation of Irish enterprise.