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Anne O’Leary to leave Vodafone for sales role in Meta

One of the responsibilities for Vodafone Ireland’s long-standing CEO at Meta will be to market the Metaverse to businesses across Europe.

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Anne O'Leary, Meta's new vice-president of the mid-market business division for the Europe, Middle-East and Africa (EMEA) region

Anne O'Leary, Meta's new vice-president of the mid-market business division for the Europe, Middle-East and Africa (EMEA) region

Anne O'Leary, Meta's new vice-president of the mid-market business division for the Europe, Middle-East and Africa (EMEA) region

Vodafone Ireland CEO, Anne O’Leary, is to join Meta to lead the social media giant’s business sales in Europe. Based in Dublin, she will also become a “key member” of Meta’s “Ireland site leadership team”.

Ms O’Leary, who has been at Vodafone Ireland for 14 years, will join Meta in September with the title of vice-president of the mid-market business division for the Europe, Middle-East and Africa (EMEA) region.

Part of her role will be to persuade businesses to buy in to Facebook’s new Metaverse. She will also market the company’s messaging and video services.

Meta recently appointed Rick Kelley as its new head of operations for Ireland, replacing Gareth Lambe.

Ms O’Leary joined Vodafone in 2008 from BT as the mobile firm’s enterprise director and was made CEO in 2013.

“After 14 wonderful years at Vodafone, I am hugely excited to start a new chapter working with the Meta team,” said Ms O’Leary.

“In an ever more competitive digital economy, I look forward to connecting with, and supporting, small and medium businesses across Europe, [the] Middle East and Africa to evolve with digital change, embrace transformation and [market] the tools that will help them to grow and scale their businesses across the world.”

Vodafone has been linked with a merger with Liberty Global, owner of Virgin Media in Ireland.

Meta employs over 5,000 people in Dublin, including contractors, and is set to soon move into a new headquarters in Ballsbridge.

“I’m thrilled to welcome a leader of Anne’s calibre and experience to the Meta team,” said Angie Gifford, Meta’s vice president of global business group for EMEA. “She joins us at an exciting time as we continue to expand our business tools across Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp and as we create new opportunities for businesses in VR and the metaverse.”

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A spokesperson for Vodafone said that Ms O’Leary’s successor at Vodafone will be announced “in due course”.

“Over the last nine years as CEO, Anne has been an extraordinary leader, advisor and guide to those around her,” he said. “She will be missed by her friends and colleagues at Vodafone Ireland who wish her the very best in this new chapter. She has been an enthusiastic and active advocate for the creation of an open and inclusive workplace environment within Vodafone but also across industry. She has shown incredible passion for diversity and inclusion, in particular gender equality, and has shaped market-leading policies that support flexibility, family, menopause and domestic violence.”


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