The technology business week: PayPal VP first woman to win Smurfit business award, Fineos reveals €250m of software exports

15 Oct 2012

Louise Phelan, PayPal's vice-president of global operations for EMEA

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week.

PayPal Europe boss is first woman to win Smurfit business award in New York

PayPal’s vice-president of global operations for EMEA Louise Phelan has become the first woman to receive the Sir Michael Smurfit Business Achievement Award.

Phelan, who was successful earlier this year in securing a second operations centre and 1,000 new jobs for PayPal’s growing European operations division in Dublin, has been presented with the award by Maurice Buckley, president, CEO, and co-founder of Ireland Chamber of Commerce USA (ICCUSA), and Brian O’Dwyer, chairman of the ICCUSA, at the 24th Annual American Celtic Ball at The Pierre Hotel in New York City.

In February 2012, PayPal announced it would create 1,000 new jobs at a new facility in Dundalk, Co Louth, in addition to the 1,500 people already employed by the company at Blanchardstown, Dublin.

Phelan, who joined PayPal in 2006, was chosen to receive the award by the board of the ICCUSA in recognition of the important role she has played as a business leader during one of the most challenging economic periods in Irish history, and her success in securing significant jobs and investment through PayPal’s operations in Ireland.

Dublin software firm Fineos reveals €250m of software exports in past 10 years

A Dublin-headquartered insurance software company called Fineos has revealed that in the past 10 years it has booked export revenues of around a quarter of a billion euros. The company handles €2bn worth of insurance claims a year and has generated 12 new jobs since July.

Fineos, which is on track to become a leading provider of claims processing software to the insurance sector, reported a 10pc growth in customer numbers in the last quarter following the closure of four new deals, with two in the US and two in Australia.

Fineos’ global success includes the fact that it processes claims for five of the top 11 group life and disability insurers in the US; 100pc of all injury and illness compensation claims in New Zealand; 30pc of all government injury and illness claims in Australia; and 30pc of the general insurance market in Ireland.

Lenovo replaces HP to take lead in global PC market stakes – Gartner

Lenovo has taken a slight lead over Hewlett-Packard to take the No 1 position in worldwide PC shipments – a first for the PC maker in the company’s history – according to preliminary results from Gartner.

Worldwide PC shipments totalled 87.5m units in the third quarter of 2012, a decline of 8.3pc when compared with the third quarter of 2011, said Gartner, which cited how the market is preparing for the launch of Windows 8.

“A continuing slowdown in consumer PC shipments played a big part in the overall PC market decline,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

Describing the third quarter as a “transitional” one before the release of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, she said shipments were less vigorous as a result of vendors and their channel partners liquidating inventory.

As for Lenovo, its share increased to 15.7pc. Hewlett-Packard’s global PC share was at 15.5pc.

HTC profits plummet 79pc – what does the future hold for the smartphone maker?

Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC has reported a 79pc drop in its third-quarter profits and a 48pc decline in revenues. The latest profit is the lowest for the company since 2006.

The company reported a profit of NT$3.9bn (US$133m) compared with NT$18.64bn last year on revenues of NT$70.2bn, which were down from NT$135.8bn last year.

In the space of just two years, HTC has gone from being one of the world’s fastest-growing smartphone makers to being overtaken by Korean giant Samsung in terms of Android devices. While devices like the Galaxy S III and iPhone 5 are set to deliver hefty profits for Samsung and Apple respectively, it seems HTC has failed to generate the same kind of buzz around its products.

Netflix CEO steps away from Microsoft board

Netflix Inc founder, chairman and CEO Reed Hastings will not seek re-election to Microsoft’s board of directors so he can focus on Netflix and his education work.

“I’m thrilled to have served on the board at such a pivotal time for Microsoft, including the development of Windows 8, Windows RT and Microsoft Surface, which will bring exciting new opportunities for customers and the industry as a whole,” Hastings said.

Hastings joined the Microsoft board, which has traditionally ranged between nine and 11 members, in March 2007. He currently serves as the lead independent director on the Microsoft board and will continue to serve through the annual meeting of Microsoft shareholders in November 2012. The board will appoint a new lead independent director at that time.

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