Sir Anthony O'Reilly has announced he is to retire as CEO of Independent News & Media on 7 May this year. He will be succeeded by his son, Gavin, who has held the chief operating officer position for the past eight years.
Sir Anthony, 72, is the largest shareholder with 28.5% ownership of the €1.5 billion Ireland-based media company, and has led the company for the past 36 years. He said he will continue to support the company in his role as president emeritus.
"Tony's retirement marks one of the most remarkable executive careers in Irish history. Tony has been a significant business leader for more than 45 years and has been a key figure in the making of modern Ireland. Tony can be immensely proud that from modest beginnings 36 years ago, he has helped to build a truly global communications business," said non-family chairman, Dr Brian Hillery.
In common with several other next gen leaders who have been promoted this year (see related links below), 42-year-old Gavin takes over the business at a low point in the history of the family owned company. INM's share price has fallen 89% in the past 12 months, while a feud between Sir Anthony and the company's second largest shareholder Denis O'Brien have made headlines.
"Gavin has immersed himself in the business since joining the company 16 years ago. He is an important thought-leader in the international media industry and is focused on further expanding INM's diverse multi-media platforms. While we face economic conditions which are more challenging than at any time in 60 years I am comforted by the drive, energy and vision that Gavin will bring to his new role," said Dr Hillery.