Enterprise Ireland names IDA exec Leo Clancy as its new CEO

16 Mar 2021

Leo Clancy. Image: Enterprise Ireland

Julie Sinnamon’s successor has finally been announced after Covid-19 delayed the outgoing CEO’s departure.

The board of Enterprise Ireland has revealed that the agency’s next chief executive officer will be Leo Clancy, a member of the executive management team of IDA Ireland.

Clancy will leave IDA, the State’s agency to promote foreign direct investment in Ireland, to join the State agency responsible for the development of native Irish enterprise.

Stepping into the role at the helm of Enterprise Ireland, one of Clancy’s first projects will be to oversee the implementation of a new strategy for indigenous Irish business for the decade ahead. This will include continued focus on scaling Irish businesses as well as increased attention to issues such as the transition to a low-carbon economy and digital transformation.

“Enterprise Ireland has a crucial role in the Government’s programme for reigniting and renewing the Irish economy in the wake of Covid-19 and ensuring Irish enterprise thrives in a post-Brexit world,” said Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, TD, of the job facing Clancy.

“In particular, the agency will support the strengthening of SMEs, focus on the key role of job creation in all parts of Ireland and help to build a more climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable economy,” Varadkar added.

Who is Leo Clancy?

Clancy is currently head of technology, consumer and business services at IDA Ireland. He is also the divisional manager with responsibility for IDA’s global marketing communications, digital and corporate services.

He joined IDA as divisional manager for ICT in 2013, coming from a role as service delivery director at telecoms company Enet.

An electronic engineer by training, Clancy started his career in a number of engineering, technical and service delivery roles in Ericsson.

Based in Dublin, he currently leads a team responsible for marketing, business development and aftercare of IDA client companies. This involves working with multinationals in all major markets worldwide.

Clancy is also a board member at two Science Foundation Ireland research centres: IPIC, Ireland’s centre of excellence for research, innovation and PhD training in photonics; and Connect, the centre for research into future networks and communications, headquartered at Trinity College Dublin.

“[Leo Clancy] has a proven record of achievement with our sister agency IDA Ireland and we look forward to working with him to maximise the continued growth of Irish enterprise internationally,” said Enterprise Ireland chair Terence O’Rourke.

End of an era for Julie Sinnamon

O’Rourke also paid tribute to outgoing CEO Julie Sinnamon, who has served as the agency’s lead since 2013.

Sinnamon announced in February 2020 that she planned to leave Enterprise Ireland, but Covid-19 delayed her departure. In October, she revealed during Silicon Republic’s Future Human event that she expected to be moving on by March 2021.

“Julie has led Enterprise Ireland with skill and commitment through two of the most significant challenges facing Irish businesses: Brexit and Covid-19,” O’Rourke said.

“Throughout her tenure, she has worked tirelessly with a range of stakeholders across industry, both nationally and internationally, including Government, the public sector and third-level institutions to advance the position of Irish enterprise. The board and I wish her every success in her future endeavours.”

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.