Twitter’s former No 2 in Dublin to spearhead Stripe’s European expansion

6 May 2015

Pictured: Don O'Leary, head of EU Business Operations at Stripe

Don O’Leary, the second most senior executive at Twitter in Dublin, has left the social media giant to join the Collison brothers’ US$3.5bn start-up Stripe as head of its European business operations.

The move follows a major HR coup by Patrick and John Collison’s Stripe in hiring former Google X division executive Claire Johnson as its new head of operations in October.

Prior to joining Stripe, Cork native O’Leary spent three years as director of sales at Twitter, working alongside Twitter vice president and head of its Dublin operation Stephen McIntyre.

Before joining Twitter O’Leary also worked alongside McIntyre at Google’s international headquarters in Dublin.

A software developer, O’Leary built one of the first online content management systems in Ireland that could integrate with e-commerce platforms. He spent some time in Silicon Valley with B2B pioneer Commerce One and Talaris.

He returned to Dublin to study for an MBA at Trinity College, after which he joined Google to start the first software development team in Google Ireland.

During his time in Twitter he helped build the EMEA sales function.

According to sources, O’Leary is understood to have joined Stripe in recent weeks and will be responsible for ramping up its presence in Europe.

In recent weeks the managing director of Twitter’s Irish operations Stephen McIntyre was appointed vice-president of online and reseller sales for EMEA as part of a reorganisation of Twitter’s European management team.

The Stripe story

The Collison brothers

Patrick and John Collison from Limerick who went to Silicon Valley to build e-commerce company Stripe, which is currently valued at more than US$3.5bn

Patrick and John Collison were recently listed in the Forbes top 30 under 30 people in tech. The Limerick brothers formed a start-up called Shuppa in 2007, which later became known as Auctomatic, attracted funding from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Y Combinator, and was acquired just a year later by Canadian firm Live Current Media for $5m (€3.2m) when the brothers were just 17 and 19, respectively.

Stripe, an online payments engine that simplifies the purchase of content and goods on websites, raised its first round of funding of US$2m in March 2011 from investment veterans Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Sequoia Capital and Andreesen Horowitz. This was followed by a further funding round of US$18m in February 2012 by Sequoia Capital that at the time valued their company at US$100m.

In December, Stripe raised US$70m from new investor Thrive Capital along with existing investors Sequoia Capital, Founders Fund, General Catalyst and Khosla Ventures, valuing the company at US$3.5bn.

The Silicon Valley-based company now employs close to 200 people.

Twitter is a Silicon Republic Featured Employer, comprised of top tech companies hiring now

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years