The Punt: Strong goes to Virgin territory
LIKEABLE UPC Ireland chief executive Dana Strong has just landed a pretty impressive promotion.
Ms Strong has been announced as the new chief operating officer of Virgin Media when UPC parent company Liberty Global completes its acquisition of the Richard Branson company.
With 20 years' experience in the telecommunications industry under her belt, Ms Strong boasts quite a track record. Prior to UPC she was chief operating officer at Australian satellite television company Austar.
Under her leadership UPC Ireland was the fastest growing company in the Liberty portfolio in 2011, and the second fastest in 2012 when its subscriber base grew by 11pc.
The company recently passed the 1 million customer mark. Still, Virgin Media is a step up; it operates the only national fibre-optic cable network in the UK and says it delivers broadband to over half of all British households.
The Australian businesswoman is not the first UPC Ireland boss to move on to bigger things within the Liberty Group.
A pattern of promotion is emerging that will provide hope for ambitious Irish employees. At Virgin Media she will work with chief financial Officer Robert Dunn, who was chief executive of UPC Ireland before he moved to the Netherlands in 2011.
She will be succeeded by Magnus Ternsjo at UPC Ireland, who until now has headed the company's satellite television business in Luxembourg, but will stay on as the board's chairwoman. The Punt can only cheer Ms Strong's continued links to Ireland given the pitifully small number of women on Irish company boards.