Digicel Group Board


Denis O'Brien
Denis O'Brien is Chairman of the privately-owned Digicel Group, one of the fastest growing mobile operators in the world.

Denis founded Digicel in 2001 when the company launched a GSM cellular phone service in the Caribbean. Digicel has extended its operations to 32 markets with over 11 million subscribers in the Caribbean, Central America and Pacific regions.

He is one of Ireland’s leading entrepreneurs with extensive investments across several sectors including international telecoms, radio, media, property, aircraft leasing, golf and other leisure interests. He also founded Communicorp Group which owns and manages a portfolio of media and broadcasting-related companies in Ireland and eight other European countries.

Denis founded the Esat Telecom Group plc and built it throughout the 1990’s until its sale to British
Telecom plc for €2.4 billion.

Outside of his extensive business interests, he chaired the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Ireland. It was the first time the Summer Games were staged outside the US with teams from 160 countries and over 30,000 volunteers. The 2003 Summer Games were the most successful in the history of the Special Olympics World Summer Games.

Denis is Chairman of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Judging Panel, having previously been a recipient of the award. He serves as a Director on the US Board of Concern Worldwide.

In addition, he is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Frontline, the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders. Based in Dublin, Frontline is working to ensure that the standards set out in the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted in 1998, are known, respected and adhered to worldwide. Frontline’s work consists of research, advocacy, communications/technical assistance and emergency evacuation of human rights activists.

In 2000, Denis established The Iris O’Brien Foundation to identify and assist projects in Ireland and internationally which aim to alleviate disadvantaged communities.

In 2010, he was named Goodwill Ambassador for the city of Port-au-Prince in Haiti by the Mayor of Port-au-Prince in recognition of his efforts to rebuild Haiti and attract foreign direct investment in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake on January 12th. Digicel is the single largest private investor in Haiti.

He has also been appointed to the Broadband Commission for Digital Development.

 

Denis holds a BA degree from University College Dublin and an MBA from Boston College.


Colm Delves, Group Chief Executive Officer and Board Director
Colm joined Digicel in May 2004 in the role of Group Chief Financial Officer before taking up his current role as Group Chief Executive Officer in June 2005.

When he joined the company, Digicel was active in eight markets in the Caribbean having launched its first operation in Jamaica in 2001. Since then, Colm has overseen a fourfold increase in the number of markets Digicel serves and has been instrumental in taking the Digicel brand of best value, best service and best network mobile communications across the Caribbean and Central America. With the addition of six markets in the Pacific to the portfolio, Digicel Group now spans 32 markets worldwide and is proud to serve 11 million customers worldwide.

Prior to his role in Digicel, Colm provided consultancy services to a number of companies, including O’Brien Cellular Ltd., owned by Denis O’Brien. From September 1993 to October 2003, Colm held the position of Chief Financial Officer of Hibernia Foods plc, a Nasdaq-quoted company in the food manufacturing industry.

Colm qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG Dublin and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Dublin City University and is based with his family in Kingston, Jamaica.


Leslie Buckley
Leslie Buckley is one of Ireland's most successful business consultants having helped manage the start-up of Esat Telecom Group plc and Esat Digifone Limited. He held the position of Chief Operations Officer of Esat Telecom in 1996 and 1997.

Leslie established his
own consultancy business in 1990 and has since been retained on key public and private sector projects, including the reconstruction of Waterford Crystal plc, the reconstruction and sale of Irish Steel plc, consulting work with Irish Rail and the restructuring of Aer Lingus, Ireland's national airline.

Leslie is currently a director/chairman and shareholder of a variety of companies, including Irishjobs.ie, Communicorp Group Limited, Radio 2000 Limited and Globetech Technical Services Limited. In addition, Leslie’s energy and management skills were recognized by the Irish Minister for Health who appointed Buckley to the Commission for Nursing in 1997.

Lucy Gaffney
Lucy Gaffney has been involved in a variety of successful businesses in Ireland since 1985. Lucy’s involvement with Esat Telecom spanned six years from her role as Managing Director of the Ideas Company - where she was an advisor to Esat Digifone in its successful bid and subsequent launch as Ireland's second GSM mobile phone operator - to a number of senior positions within the company itself, including Chief Operations Officer, Director of Marketing and Managing Director of Esat Clear, Esat's residential division.

Lucy is Chairperson of Communicorp Group Limited an expanding communications group with media interests in Ireland, Europe and the Middle East. Communicorp has 44 radio stations across Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Jordan, Latvia and the Ukraine. The Group includes national radio stations Today FM and Newstalk 106-108 in Ireland, and 98FM and Spin 103.8 in Dublin.

From March 2005 to December 2008, Ms Gaffney held the position of Chairperson of the National Action Plan against Racism in Ireland (NAPR).

Lucy has previously held directorships in Special Olympics, First Active Plc, Ulster Bank Limited, a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland and Campus Stadium Ireland.

Lucy was appointed to the Board of Independent News & Media plc as a Non-Executive Director in March 2009.

Lucy is a graduate of the College of Marketing and Design, Dublin.


PJ Mara

PJ is the Chairman of Mara & Associates, a firm that he founded in 1992, which acts as advisors in the areas of financial planning, public relations and public affairs to financial institutions, public companies and trans-national corporations. Also in 1992, he was appointed Media Relations Adviser to Guinness Peat Aviation, the Irish-based aircraft leasing group.

PJ is one of Ireland’s most highly respected political advisors. In 1983, following a brief period as a Member of the Irish Senate, he was appointed Press Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition, Fianna Fáil, in the Irish Parliament and continued in this role until 1987 when he became Press Secretary to the Prime Minister and Government of Ireland. He ran Fianna Fáil's national election campaigns in 1997 and 2002, both of which proved successful for the party.

PJ served on the board of the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games, which took almost four years to organise and was the first such Games to take place outside of the USA in its 36 year history. It was also the world's largest sporting event for 2003, featuring 7,000 athletes, from more than 150 countries, participating in 21 sports.

Since 2003, PJ Mara has acted as an Advisor to the Prime Minister and Government of Croatia.


Greg Sparks

Greg Sparks is a founder partner of FGS - a firm of business advisors and consultants with offices in Dublin and Belfast. Greg has over 20 years' professional experience in accountancy and corporate finance. His areas of expertise include corporate finance, programme planning and implementation and change management.

Recent projects in which Greg has been involved include the restructuring negotiations at The Irish Times; advising the response to Irish government plans on liberalisation of the electricity industry; advising Aer Lingus on the selection of a strategic partner for the airline as well as restructuring negotiations.

Greg has advised a number of clients in negotiations with banks, including developing and agreeing revised financial structures to enable companies to grow and prosper.


Seamus Lynch
Seamus joined Digicel as CEO in May 2000 when the company was awarded its first licence in Jamaica. Following Digicel Jamaica’s highly successful launch which saw the company become market leader within the first year of operation, Seamus went on to become the Group’s first CEO in 2003 as the company rapidly expanded across the Caribbean.

In 2005, Seamus was appointed to the Board of Directors as Non Executive Director. In this role, Seamus acts in an advisory capacity to new markets as the company expands into Central America and the Pacific.

Seamus joined Digicel with ten years experience in the telecoms sector, having joined Telecom Eireann (now Eircom) in 1991 in the New Enterprise department to identify new business opportunities for the company.

In 1993, Seamus was then transferred to Eircell (Eircom’s mobile arm) as GSM Sales Development Manager. He later joined Esat Telecom as Bid Director to assist with the successful acquisition of the GSM license, before transferring to project management where he helped set up East Digifone and was subsequently promoted to National Sales Manager.

Seamus has a Bachelor of Commerce from University College Dublin and an MBS in International Marketing.


David Sykes
David Sykes, aged 61, is a Non-Executive Director of Digicel Group Limited. David began his career in Allied Irish Banks and subsequently worked for 15 years with Trinity Bank Ltd. in Ireland.

In 1990, David joined Riada Stockbrokers and is currently an Associate of Dolmen Securities Ltd, an Irish-based independent stockbroking and investment management firm.

David manages the family office of Chairman Denis O'Brien and is a Director of a number of other companies. He was appointed to the Board on May 3rd, 2006.

 


Sir Julian Horn-Smith

Sir Julian Horn-Smith, aged 61, was one of the founding members of Vodafone Group Plc and is considered to be one of the principal architects in the development of Vodafone’s International Strategy. He retired from the Vodafone Board in July 2006, where he held the title Deputy Chief Executive Officer.

Sir Julian is a Senior Advisor to UBS Investment Bank in London, Senior Advisor to CVC (Telecoms and Media) and holds a number of other directorships, including Lloyds Banking Group (Non-Executive Director), Martin Dawes Systems Limited (IT Systems), De La Rue plc and EMobile in Japan. He is also a Trustee for the Hope for Tomorrow Charity, Chairman of the Turkish British Business Council and President of the Egyptian Exploration Society