Meet the leader: Vodafone’s Anne O’Leary moves to Meta

A passionate diversity advocate and veteran telecoms leader, the former CEO of Vodafone Ireland, Anne O’Leary, is moving to Meta to lead business for EMEA

Anne O’Leary, CEO of Vodafone Ireland for the last nine years, has been appointed as Vice-President of Meta’s mid-market business division for the EMEA region. She will join Meta’s Dublin headquarters in September.

Anne O’Leary will help businesses in EMEA to accelerate digital transformation

This appointment comes hot on the heels of Rick Kelley’s hire as Meta’s head of operations for Ireland and arrives as Meta Ireland continues to expand its business tools across Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp and as “we create new opportunities for businesses in VR and the metaverse”, says Angie Gifford, Meta’s VP of Global Business for EMEA.

In this key role in the Meta Ireland leadership team, Anne will oversee a large sales team that supports small and medium businesses across EMEA, helping them to evolve with digital change, embrace transformation.

A key part of her role will be to market the Metaverse to businesses across Europe, and she will also market the company’s messaging and video services.

Anne O’Leary – seasoned telecoms executive, passionate diversity advocate

Anne has held leadership roles in the telecoms sector for more than 25 years, including two chief executive roles – the first at BT and subsequently at Vodafone.

She joins Meta from Vodafone where she has spent the last 14 years, with five years as the company’s Enterprise Director and the last nine years as CEO. She is only the second woman to fill the role since Vodafone’s arrival in Dublin in 2008.

During her time with the telecoms giant, Anne was responsible for 2,000 employees, oversaw the nationwide rollout of 4G and most recently 5G, and was a key figure in many digital industry initiatives.

She was also instrumental in progressing diversity both in the workplace, at Vodafone, and within the telecoms industry, and recently received a special recognition award by CIO & IT Leaders for her outstanding contribution to innovation and the IT industry in Ireland.

Under her leadership, Vodafone became a leader in the Irish corporate world with women making up 63% of senior leadership teams, 39% of senior leaders and 48% of middle management. As well as focusing on gender balance, she also developed an LGBT network, promoted age, culture and backgound representation and wellbeing in the workplace – making Vodafone one of the top 10 places to work in Ireland.

A passionate diversity and STEM advocate outside of the workplace too, Anne is a board member of University College Cork, where she empowers young women to study technology and make use of their talents. She also serves on the Board of the Economic and Social Research Institute, is a FTSE 250 Board Member and former chair for GOAL Global.

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