The Silicon Valley 50 – Surnames O-R

6 Mar 2012

The top 50 Irish/Irish-American global technology leaders – surnames O-R:

Niall O’Connor, chief information officer, Apple

Niall O’Connor, who has more than 25 years of experience in the technology industry, has been Apple’s CIO since 1997.

Under his leadership, the worldwide IT organization has undergone a transformation highlighted by a streamlined systems environment; integration of Apple’s enterprise products; and a cost model that allows for more spending on development and enhancements of Apple’s products and services. 

O’Connor has been responsible for the global implementation of SAP at Apple, one of the largest single instances of SAP in the world and the backbone for Apple’s operational efficiencies.  His other achievements include the deployment of advanced telephony applications in support of Apple’s customer service call centers, and robust data warehousing and reporting solutions. 

When Apple decided to open stores, O’Connor’s team implemented a suite of retail systems in record time. 

O’Connor joined Apple in 1991 and soon assumed responsibility for the IT function’s global application development efforts. 

Previously, he served as a system consultant at Eurolink, working as project manager for large system implementations, including Apple Japan’s first enterprise resource planning system. 

In Ireland, O’Connor held management positions in IT at Homedica in Limerick, and Westinghouse in Shannon.

O’Connor has a degree in computer science from the National Institute for Higher Education in Limerick.

Rory O’Driscoll, managing director, Scale Venture Partners 

Rory O’Driscoll has been an investor at Scale or its predecessor funds since 1993. He has invested across the board in software and internet companies, but with a particular focus on software companies benefitting from the move to Software-as-a-Service and the wider transition of enterprise computing to the cloud. He now sits on the boards of Box, Arena Solutions, Axcient, DocuSign, ExactTarget, Hubspan, Livescribe, Lumension Security and Vantage Media.

Prior successful investments include IPOs such as Omniture, Connect and NetGenesis. Acquisitions include ScanSafe (Acq: Cisco), Frontbridge (Acq: Microsoft), Zone Labs (Acq: Checkpoint), Placeware (Acq: Microsoft) and OuterBay (Acq: HP) among others.

Prior to Scale, O’Driscoll worked as CEO of a manufacturing company in the UK.

O’Driscoll blogs on the partnership website and on his blog at

He holds a BSc from the London School of Economics and is a winner of the “Always On VC 100 List” for 2009.

Rory O'Driscoll

John O’Farrell, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz

John O’Farrell is a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm.

Prior to joining Andreessen Horowitz, O’Farrell held executive vice-president positions at Silver Spring Networks, Opsware and Excite@Home.

Earlier in his career, O’Farrell worked in the United States and Europe with MediaOne Group/US WEST, Booz Allen, Eircom (Ireland), the EU Commission, Digital Equipment and Siemens.

O’Farrell has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he graduated as an Arjay Miller Scholar, and a bachelor of electronic engineering degree from University College Dublin, where he graduated with First Class Honours.

O’Farrell speaks English, German, French and Portuguese. 

Read our interview with John O’Farrell.

John O'Farrell

Paul O’Farrell, vice-president Corporate Development and Strategy, Riverbed Technology

Paul O’Farrell has served as vice-president of Corporate Development and Strategy at Riverbed Technology since July 2007, helping to devise and execute Riverbed’s M&A, investment and overall corporate strategy. 

Prior to joining Riverbed, O’Farrell was the general manager of NetApp’s Technical Applications business unit.  He originally joined NetApp as a member of the Corporate Development team.

O’Farrell has also spent a number of years with Cisco Systems, where he led a team responsible for all M&A and investments in the areas of broadband access and semiconductors and software.

O’Farrell also held a variety of senior strategy and business development roles with Ecast, Viant and Booz Allen.

Paul O'Farrell

Patrick O’Malley, executive vice-president and chief financial officer, Seagate Technology

Patrick O’Malley assumed the role of EVP & CFO of Seagate Technology on Aug. 25, 2008.

In his previous role of SVP Finance & Treasurer, he had responsibility for corporate accounting, reporting, treasury, credit and collections and risk management, along with corporate financial planning and analysis and support for Seagate’s business unit GMs, sales and other functions.

In October 2005, he returned to finance from the sales organization, where he co-ordinated the company’s activities surrounding the consumer electronics market as the SVP, Consumer Electronics Business Development, from January 2004.

O’Malley joined Seagate in 1988 and has held various management roles within the finance organization, including manager of Consolidation & Cost Accounting, director of finance – Corporate FP&A, senior director of finance for Oklahoma City Operations, senior director of finance for Desktop Design, VP of finance for Recording Media Operations and SVP of finance for Manufacturing Operations.

Patrick O'Malley

Cathal Phelan, chief technical officer, Cypress Semiconductor Corp

Cathal Phelan is the CTO at Cypress Semiconductor Corp, a company he returned to in October 2008.

Cypress provides programmable system-level solutions and Phelan focuses on the company’s strategic plans, architectural platforms, two internally funded start-ups, M&A/investment opportunities and on a broad range of IP/patent-related matters. He is also a director on the board of Touchstone Semiconductor.

Prior to his CTO role at Cypress, Phelan worked as CEO at Ubicom and executive vice-president and general manager at Cypress. He has also had numerous engineering roles at Cypress as a designer and architect.

Previously, Phelan worked in the Advanced Memory Design Center at Philips Research, Holland. He holds 38 U.S. patents.

Phelan graduated from Trinity College with a BAI and a MSEE.

He is married to Nicola and has a daughter, Maeve. One most weekends, Phelan can be found climbing a Bay-Area hill on his road bicycle.

Cathal Phelan

Peter Real, vice-president of Linear and Radio Frequency Business Unit, Analog Devices, Inc.

Peter Real is vice-president of the Linear and Radio Frequency Business Unit at Analog Devices, Inc.

Real, who has worked and studied in both Ireland and the U.S.A., began his career in integrated circuit design and now has full operating responsibility for the development of ADI’s Linear and RF products and technologies. His responsibilities include defining, developing, and merchandising integrated circuit solutions for multiple markets and applications, including communications, industrial and instrumentation, automotive, medical, and consumer end markets.

Real is also the holder of nine patents and BSEE and MSEE degrees in electronic engineering.

Peter Real

Paul Rellis, managing director, Microsoft Ireland

Paul Rellis was appointed managing director of Microsoft Ireland in December 2007. He is responsible for Microsoft Corporation’s business across the island of Ireland, and represents Microsoft on strategic policy and communications issues in Ireland.

Previously, Rellis worked as managing director for Microsoft’s European, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Operations Centre in Dublin, and as finance director for Microsoft Operations in EMEA and Asia-Pacific. 

He joined Microsoft in January 2000 from The Coca-Cola Company, where he held senior positions in finance, marketing and operations in both the Coca-Cola HQ in Atlanta and Germany. 

Rellis served as president of the American Chamber of Commerce in 2008 and is a board member of the organisation. He is also a member of the governing body of IBEC, a board member of the IMI and of the National Digital Research Centre.

Rellis qualified as a chartered accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Waterford Regional Technical College. He is married and has five children.

Paul Rellis

Suzanne Rice, vice-president, Business Operations, McAfee

Suzanne Rice is vice-president of Business Operations at McAfee, an Intel company and the world’s largest dedicated security technology company.

Rice is responsible for business capability development for McAfee, including mergers and acquisitions.  

Prior to McAfee, Rice spent 11 years at Cisco Systems in various positions of increasing responsibility, in IT, finance and sales operations. During her tenure, she had responsibility for the operational capabilities of Cisco’s Unified Computing Server product line, a business that grew to $1 billion in the first year.  

Rice has also been responsible for operations for VCE, the VMware, Cisco and EMC alliance that brought Vblock to market.

Prior to Cisco, Rice worked with the State of Texas to implement various systems, including the Brady Bill covering gun control.  

In Ireland, she worked with Fyffes, where she helped implement the European supply chain management system.

Rice holds a bachelors degree in European studies and a post-graduate degree in computer science from the National University of Ireland, and an MBA from Smurfit Graduate School of Business.  

A native of Cork, Ireland, Rice now lives in San Jose, California, with her husband and two children.  

Rice also serves on local charity boards and participates in volunteer activities.

Suzanne Rice

Read more about the Silicon Valley 50:

Surnames A-C

Surnames D-H

Surnames K-M

Surnames S-W