In October 2007 Barry O'Leary was appointed Chief Executive Designate of IDA Ireland. He took over the role of CEO from Sean Dorgan on January 1st 2008. Prior to this appointment he was Divisional Manager of the IDA's LifeSciences and Information and Communications Technology business units.
Mr. O'Leary has worked in IDA for over 30 years in most of its business areas including two periods totalling 15 years in Germany, latterly as Director of Europe. He originally moved to Cologne in 1983 and from 1985 to 1991 he was based in Munich. Between 1991 and 1995 he was responsible for Consumer Products and International Services in IDA in Dublin. On his return to Germany in 1995 he was responsible for running IDA's offices in Stuttgart and Dusseldorf which covered Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. He subsequently became Director of Europe and centralised IDA's German offices into Frankfurt. During this period he was closely associated with winning major projects from companies such as Bertelsmann , SAP, Deutsche Bank, Lufthansa, Kostal, Allianz and a number of key Italian financial services projects.
On his return to Ireland in late 2002 Mr. O'Leary was initially appointed Divisional Manager Pharmaceuticals and Biopharmaceuticals and a member of the IDA's Executive Committee. His responsibilities were increased in 2004 to include the LifeSciences and Information and Communications Technology areas.
He has been deeply involved in changing the profile and raising the value of Ireland's inward investments over the past ten years. He has been primarily responsible for the successful establishment of Ireland as the leading global location outside the US for biopharmaceuticals. He has also undertaken strategic change and built new strengths in R&D, medical technologies, information and communications technology and other areas.
Mr. O'Leary led IDA teams in winning significant investments from a number of key clients such as Lilly BioPharma, Servier, Pfizer, Centocor, Cordis, IBM, Kelloggs, Altana, Merck and Cisco Systems among others.
Barry O'Leary has held a number of different positions in industrial companies prior to joining IDA Ireland, including Nestle and the Smurfit Group. He is a Board Member of Forfas.