Head of Meta Ireland Rick Kelley is stepping down

9 Mar 2023

Meta Ireland head Rick Kelley. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

Kelley was one of Meta’s first employees in Dublin, working with the company for 14 years in a number of leadership roles.

One year after becoming Meta’s head of operations in Ireland, Rick Kelley has announced he is leaving the company in a couple of months.

Kelley has worked at Meta for 14 years, joining the company in 2009 when the global team had less than 1,000 staff.

Back then – when the company was called Facebook – Kelley led its EMEA mid-market sales team based in Dublin, expanding the company’s advertising efforts into emerging brands, ad agencies and large direct response advertisers.

“When I started, we had just celebrated having 300m monthly users, we now have over 3bn,” Kelley said in a Facebook post. “We made as much revenue in a year as we now do in about two days. To say this is a different company today vs June 2009 is an understatement.”

In 2013, Kelley became responsible for Meta’s global advertising sales for the gaming industry including console, mobile, lotteries and fantasy sports, leading teams in multiple continents.

He retained this global VP role when he became head of Meta in Ireland last year, taking over from Irish Meta boss Gareth Lambe, who held the top job for 10 years.

In this position, Kelley has led the company’s 3,000 Irish-based staff while he built external relationships with media, government and other businesses.

Outside of Meta, Kelley is an active investor and advisor for multiple start-ups. He has also been a board member at the Saoirse Foundation since 2016.

Kelley said he is leaving Meta to take a career break and “recharge my batteries”. He added that he is proud of his time with the company and has “had the time of my life”.

“This ‘job’ has changed my life in so many ways, and for that, I will always click the ‘like’ button,” Kelley said.

Meta VP of its global business group Nicola Mendelsohn said Kelley has made a “profound impact” in building regional and global teams at the company.

“As one of Meta’s first employees in Dublin, he is leaving behind a long-lasting legacy,” Mendelsohn said. “We wish him every success in his future endeavours.”

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic