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Board of Directors

Denis O`Brien

Chairman

Denis O’Brien founded Esat Telecom Group (“Esat”) in 1991 to compete against the former state-owned telephone company in Ireland, Eircom plc. In October 1997, Esat, of which Denis was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, listed on Nasdaq (New York), Easdaq (Amsterdam) and the Iseq (Dublin). Esat, over a five-year period, raised $1 billion in equity and bonds in a number of successful U.S. and European public offerings.

Esat established itself as the number two telecommunications company across the full spectrum of telecommunications services (corporate and residential), fixed-line, GSM mobile, data and internet services and brought real competition and choice to the Irish telecommunications market. Esat Telecom Group plc was sold to British Telecom Group plc in January 2000 for $2.8 billion. Denis was voted Ireland’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998 in the inaugural running of the worldwide competition organised and sponsored by Ernst & Young.

Denis is also a director of a number of private companies, which hold some of his other business interests including Quinta do Lago SA, Topaz Energy Group Limited and Communicorp Group Limited. In addition, Denis is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Frontline, the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and a member of the board of Concern Worldwide.

He holds a B.A. from University College Dublin and an MBA from Boston College, and he has an honorary Doctorate of Laws from University College Dublin. Denis is also Chairman of Digicel Holdings Ltd. and Digicel PNG, subsidiaries of Digicel Group Ltd. Denis has been Chairman of the board of directors since 2000.


 

 


Leslie Buckley

Vice Chairman

Leslie is a founding director of the board of directors and has been actively involved in the development of our pan-Caribbean GSM network. Leslie was involved in the start-up of Esat Telecom Group plc and Esat Digifone Limited and held the position of acting chief operating officer of Esat Telecom during 1996 and 1997.

Leslie established his own consultancy business in 1990 and has since been retained on a number of key public and private sector appointments. These include the restructuring of Waterford Crystal plc, the restructuring and sale of Irish Steel plc, consulting work with Irish Rail and the restructuring of Aer Lingus (Ireland’s national airline).

Leslie is currently the Chairman of Another 9, and a director and shareholder of a number of other Irish companies including Siteserv and Bayhill Enterprises Limited. He was a nominee of the Minister for Transport on the Board of Aer Lingus Group plc from 2009-2012. In August 2012, he was appointed Chairman of Independent News and Media plc, having previously served on the Board from March 2009 to June 2011.

In January 2009, Leslie established Haven, to help the people of Haiti through the provision of shelter, sanitation facilities, training and income generation initiatives to encourage long-term, sustainable development in Haiti. Leslie is also Vice Chairman of Digicel Holdings Ltd, a subsidiary company of Digicel Group Ltd. Leslie has been a director since 2000.


 

 


Colm Delves

Chief Executive Officer

Colm joined Digicel as our Chief Financial Officer in May 2004 and was appointed Chief Executive Officer in July 2005.

Colm is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. Colm was employed by Hibernia Foods plc. from May 1992 until October 2003, serving on the Board of Directors and as Finance Director. Prior to this, he was employed by KPMG, Chartered Accountants, in Dublin from October 1987 until May 1992. He attended Dublin City University, and in 1987 received a B.A. in Accounting and Finance.


 


Gregory Sparks

Chairman of the Audit Committee and Non-Executive Director

Gregory is a founder and partner of FGS, a firm of business advisers and consultants with offices in Dublin and Belfast. Gregory has over 30 years of professional experience in accountancy and corporate finance. His areas of expertise include corporate finance, program planning, and implementation and change management.

Recent projects in which Gregory has been involved include advising, negotiating and agreeing revised financial structures on behalf of clients with private equity houses, the 2014 “fit for purpose” report on the Department of Justice on behalf of the Irish Government and the completion of the privatisation of the energy division of Bord Gais.

Formerly he had a central role on the restructuring of Eircom (an Irish telecommunication company formerly state owned), the largest private financial restructuring in Europe in 2012. He is a former member on the Audit Committee of the Houses of the Oireachtas (the House of Parliament) in Ireland, and a former board member of the Irish Times, on which he chaired the Audit Committee.

Presently on the Board of the Vhi, the largest health insurer in Ireland, Gregory chairs the Audit Committee Digicel Group Limited. Gregory has been a director since 2004.


 


Lucy Gaffney

Non-Executive Director

Lucy was Chief Operating Officer at Esat Telecom in Ireland when it was acquired by British Telecom Group Plc in January 2000. Lucy's involvement with Esat Telecom spanned six years, during which time she held a number of senior positions, including Chief Operating Officer, Director of Marketing and Managing Director of Esat Clear; Esat’s residential division. Prior to this, Lucy was 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. She has also held senior positions with the Irish Press Group Plc and Bell Advertising.

Lucy is currently Chairperson of Communicorp, an independent radio group with 25 radio stations in four countries and a director of Independent News and Media Plc and Topaz Energy Group Limited, the largest distributors of fuel products in Ireland.

In January 2006, Lucy was appointed Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the National Action Plan against Racism by the government of Ireland. She is also a former director of Ulster Bank Limited (Irish subsidiary of Royal Bank of Scotland). During 2000, she was appointed to the Strategic Advisory Board at Tesco Ireland (British grocery retail chain) and the government-sponsored Campus Ireland Board. Lucy was also a director of the 2003 Special Olympics World Games.

Lucy is also a Director of Digicel Holdings Ltd and Digicel PNG, subsidiary companies of Digicel Group Ltd. Lucy has been a director since 2000.



Michael S. Willner

Non-Executive Director

Michael is a cable industry veteran of more than 40 years. Since 2012, Michael has been an investor in - and President and CEO of - Penthera Partners, a start-up software licencing company focused on cloud-to-mobile technology. Prior to this, in 1985, he co-founded and became the CEO of Insight Communications and remained in this position until the company was sold to Time Warner Cable in 2012. He began his career in 1974 at Vision Cable Communications rising to become Chief Operating Officer from 1979 to 1985.

Michael has served twice as Chairman of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), the industry’s primary lobbying organisation and has also has been one of the cable industry’s most active and effective ambassadors on Capitol Hill, testifying regularly before Congress on industry issues and pending legislation.

He chaired NCTA’s political action committee (CablePAC) from 2000 until 2012, served as chairman of the board of the Cable Center from 2007 through 2011 and was on the executive committee of CableLabs and the boards of C-SPAN and the Walter Kaitz Foundation. Michael is a recipient of the NCTA’s 2004 Vanguard Award for Distinguished Leadership, a 2005 inductee into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame in 2008. He is a graduate of Boston University’s College of Communications.


Seamus Lynch

Non-Executive Director,

Seamus joined Eircom plc in 1990 in its New Enterprise Department identifying new business opportunities for the company. In 1993, he was transferred to Eircell (Eircom’s mobile arm) as GSM Sales Development Manager.

Seamus joined Esat Telecom in early 1994 as part of its GSM license bid team and he managed, for two years, the successful application for Ireland’s second GSM license, ahead of international competitors such as AT&T Wireless, Millicom, Deutsche Telekom, Tele Danmark and SBC. Seamus then transferred to project management, where he helped to set up Esat Digifone and assumed the position of National Sales Manager.

On the sale of Esat Telecom Group plc to British Telecom Group plc, Seamus joined us as Chief Operating Officer for Digicel Jamaica. A year after the successful launch of the company, Seamus was named Chief Executive Officer of Digicel Jamaica and from October 2002 to December 2004 he served as our Chief Executive Officer.

Seamus is also a director and shareholder in Chill Insurance, Ireland’s fastest growing online Insurance provider. He is vice Chairman of Digicel PNG and a director of Digicel Holdings Ltd, subsidiary companies of Digicel Group Limited. Seamus has been a director since 2004.



Sean Corkery

Non-Executive Director

Sean is an IT and Telecoms veteran with more than 35 years of experience in the industry. Sean is currently Chairman and CEO of SiteServ, a leading infrastructure and utility support services company operating in various markets with particular specialisation in the telecommunications and oil and gas industries.

Before joining SiteServ, he held numerous senior positions, including Vice President, Global Supply Chain Operations for Dell Inc., Chief Operations Officer at Esat Telecom, Vice President of Global Operations at AST Computer/Samsung and director of Pacific Region Operations at Apple. He was a member of the Information Society Commission of Ireland, an independent advisory body to the Government, reporting directly to the Taoiseach (PM).

Sean was a Director of Seabrook Research (Software) from 1997 to 2004 and is currently a Director of Nualtra (medical nutrition), Topaz Energy Group (retail/fuel), and Chairman of Hibernia College (Post Graduate teacher training). He holds a B.A. from University College Cork. Sean has been a director since in 2013.



Sir Julian Horn-Smith

Non-Executive Director

Sir Julian was one of the founding members of The Vodafone Group Plc and considered one of the principal architects in the development of Vodafone’s International Strategy. He was awarded a Knighthood by Her Majesty the Queen in 2005 in recognition of his services to international telecommunications. He retired from the Vodafone Board in July 2006, where he had held the positions of Chief Operating Officer and subsequently that of Deputy Chief Executive Officer.

Sir Julian is a Senior Advisor to UBS Investment Bank in London. He is a member of the Supervisory Board of VimpelCom Limited and was, until February 2015, a senior advisor to the board of Etisalat (a telecommunications group based in the United Arab Emirates). He is a Senior Advisor to the Board of CVC (Telecoms and Media) and is a member of the Advisory Board of LetterOne Technology. He was previously a member of the Board of Lloyds Banking Group Plc, retiring in May 2012.

In addition to his directorships, Sir Julian is the Co-Chairman of the TATLDiL Conference (British and Turkish Conference) and is the Pro Chancellor of Bath University. He is a Trustee of the Hope for Tomorrow Charity. Sir Julian has been a director since 2006.