Friday 14 December 2018

Niall Wall's successor as CEO in Ardagh, Ian Curley, has a strong executive pedigree

Ian Curley
Ian Curley
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Ian Curley no doubt had his eyes on the top job at Smurfit Kappa when then incumbent Gary McGann announced in early 2015 that he would retire as chief executive.

Mr Curley (54) was appointed chief financial officer of Jefferson Smurfit (Smurfit Kappa's predecessor) in 2000, having been with the packaging group for 10 years, joining as assistant financial controller. He graduated from UCD in Commerce, and then qualified as an accounting, working with 3M.

He worked for a short while with Master Foods before joining Jefferson Smurfit.

But when the CEO job at Smurfit Kappa went to the capable hands of chief operating officer Tony Smurfit, it would have been clear to Mr Curley that if he wanted a CEO challenge, he would have to move on.

And he's got that challenge with Ardagh. He'll be at the helm of the business as it integrates its latest acquisition, and will head an organisation that mirrors Smurfit Kappa in terms of scale, revenue and EBITDA.

Niall Wall, meanwhile, will have time to contemplate his next move.

He owns almost 10pc of Ardagh - and at just 54 years of age there will be plenty of time to carve out a new executive role, especially given his experience.

He was appointed CEO of Ardagh in April, 2007 (his brother, David, is the CEO of Ardagh's metal packaging division).

Prior to joining the group he had been chief executive of businesses including Sterile Technologies, a medical waste management company.

That company was sold by Mr Coulson and other backers, including Niall Wall, in 2006. Mr Coulson's Yeoman investment vehicle received €40m for its 41pc stake, having acquired the holding for €5.5m in 1999. Mr Wall received about €9m from the sale for his stake in the business.

Company records show that Mr Wall has had diverse directorships over the years. Among them was a stint as a director of Monaghan-based textile manufacturer Esprit.

Both he and his brother David are brothers of Moya, Paul Coulson's wife.

Irish Independent

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business