Denis O’Brien - Irish Men, Timeline and Family

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Denis O’Brien's Personal Details

Denis O’Brien is an Irish entrepreneur who was listed among the World's Top 200 Billionaires in 2015

InformationDetail
BirthdayApril 19, 1958
NationalityIrish
FamousEntrepreneurs, Irish Men, Boston College, Business People, Telecommunication
SpousesCatherine Walsh
SiblingsAbigail, Joanne, Kerry
Universities
  • Boston College
  • Boston College
  • University College Dublin
Notable Alumnis
  • Boston College
Founder / Co-Founder
  • BT Ireland
  • Digicel
  • Communicorp
  • Front Line Defenders
Birth PlaceRepublic of Ireland
GenderMale
FatherDan,Denis O’Brien Sr.
MotherIris O’Brien
Net Worth$6.8 billion as of Oct 18,2016
Sun SignAries
Born inRepublic of Ireland
Famous asEntrepreneur

// Famous Irish Men

Denis O’Brien's photo

Who is Denis O’Brien?

Denis O’Brien is an Irish entrepreneur who was listed among the World's Top 200 Billionaires in 2015. He is the owner of Communicorp, a media holding company based in Ireland with operations across Europe. It is one of the biggest media companies in Ireland where it operates radio stations like ‘Newstalk ‘and ‘Today FM’. His group also controls newspapers like ‘Irish Independent’, the ‘Irish Daily Star’, the ‘Sunday Independent’, the ‘Sunday World’, and ‘Dublin's Evening Herald’. Born into a middle-class family in County Cork, O’Brien harbored ambitious dreams from a young age. Hard working and gifted with a natural flair for business, he starting earning money when he was 14, working as a bell boy in the Central Hotel in Dublin. He also took up a job cleaning his school to earn some extra money. His father worked as a veterinary supplier and young Denis often accompanied him on his trips to sell the drugs his company produced. He went on to earn an MBA. After working for a few years, he embarked on a career as an entrepreneur and acquired a stake in the Esat Digifone consortium and soon became a major player in the Irish media sector. Today, he is one of the richest people in the world and Ireland's richest native-born citizen

// Famous Entrepreneurs

Childhood & Early Life

Denis O’Brien was born on 19 April, 1958 in County Cork, Ireland. He has one brother and two sisters. His father worked as a veterinary supplier.

He was interested in earning money from a young age. At the age of 14, he started working as a bell boy in the Central Hotel in Dublin. He also took up summer jobs during the school holidays and used to accompany his father on trips selling the equine drugs his father’s company manufactured. He honed his entrepreneurial skills through all these experiences.

After completing his high school he went to study politics, history and logic at University College Dublin and graduated in 1977. He won a scholarship from Boston College from where he completed his M.B.A in corporate finance in 1982.

Career

After his graduation his first job was as an assistant manager of Trinity Bank, a small merchant bank in Dublin. He, however, had bigger dreams for himself and wrote to Dr. Tony Ryan, the founder of Shannon-based aircraft leasing group GPA, asking for a job.

Dr. Ryan was impressed by the young man’s confidence and appointed him as his PA. At that time GPA was the biggest owner of large commercial aircraft in the world and it was the first time O’Brien got exposed to the international world of business.

In 1989, he formed Communicorp, which launched its radio operations in Ireland the same year. In 1992, Communicorp started operations in the Czech Republic and later ventured into Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Hungary and Ukraine as well.

In 1990, he founded Esat Telecom, a telecommunication company. Prior to this he had unsuccessfully attempted to bid for Ireland's communications satellite licence.

Over the next few years Esat telecom applied to the Department of Communications for a telecommunications licence several times and was finally granted a limited one in March 1993.

The company officially launched its services in April 1994. The next year he set up the Esat Digifone consortium, which submitted a bid for the second Irish GSM mobile phone license and defeated five other applicants. Over the next few years Esat Digifone boomed and O’Brien sold the company to BT in 2000, making a personal profit of €317 million from the sale.

He founded the aircraft leasing company Aergo Capital in 1999. Based in Dublin, the company also has offices in Chicago, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Santiago. Aergo is ranked among the 20 largest aircraft-leasing firms in the world.

O’Brien decided to venture into the Caribbean after Jamaica decided to open its phone market up for competition after years of being under the control of the large British company Cable & Wireless. He founded Digicel in Jamaica in 2001 which proved to be an immediate success, garnering over 1,00,000 customers in approximately 100 days.

He started acquiring stakes in Tony O'Reilly's Independent News & Media (INM) in 2006. Over the ensuing years, he significantly increased his ownership in the media house by accumulating additional shares in the company and became the company's second-biggest shareholder behind Tony O'Reilly. By May 2012, he had increased his ownership to a 29.9% stake in INM, making him the largest shareholder.

Major Works

He is the founder and owner of Digicel, a mobile phone network provider headquartered at Kingston, Jamaica, which has about 13 million wireless users. The network operates across 31 markets which include Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos, and Vanuatu.

Awards & Achievements

Denis O’Brien was presented with the title "Clinton Global Citizen" as part of an awards scheme connected with the Clinton Global Initiative think tank in 2012.

Personal Life & Legacy

Denis O’Brien married Catherine Walsh in 1997. Walsh had previously headed the marketing arm of Independent Radio Sales. The couple has four children.

Philanthropic Works

Along with former American President Bill Clinton, Denis O’Brien was a prominent investor of time and money in Haiti following the devastating earthquake in 2010.

U.S. government agency USAID transferred money over Digicel's mobile network with which free mobile phones and free Digicel accounts were provided to the citizens of Haiti.

Net Worth

As of 2015, Denis O’Brien has an estimated net worth of $6.8 billion

// Famous Business People

Denis O’Brien biography timelines

  • // 19th Apr 1958
    Denis O’Brien was born on 19 April, 1958 in County Cork, Ireland. He has one brother and two sisters. His father worked as a veterinary supplier.
  • // 1977 To 1982
    After completing his high school he went to study politics, history and logic at University College Dublin and graduated in 1977. He won a scholarship from Boston College from where he completed his M.B.A in corporate finance in 1982.
  • // 1989 To 1992
    In 1989, he formed Communicorp, which launched its radio operations in Ireland the same year. In 1992, Communicorp started operations in the Czech Republic and later ventured into Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Hungary and Ukraine as well.
  • // 1990
    In 1990, he founded Esat Telecom, a telecommunication company. Prior to this he had unsuccessfully attempted to bid for Ireland's communications satellite licence.
  • // Mar 1993
    Over the next few years Esat telecom applied to the Department of Communications for a telecommunications licence several times and was finally granted a limited one in March 1993.
  • // Apr 1994 To 2000
    The company officially launched its services in April 1994. The next year he set up the Esat Digifone consortium, which submitted a bid for the second Irish GSM mobile phone license and defeated five other applicants. Over the next few years Esat Digifone boomed and O’Brien sold the company to BT in 2000, making a personal profit of €317 million from the sale.
  • // 1997
    Denis O’Brien married Catherine Walsh in 1997. Walsh had previously headed the marketing arm of Independent Radio Sales. The couple has four children.
  • // 1999
    He founded the aircraft leasing company Aergo Capital in 1999. Based in Dublin, the company also has offices in Chicago, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Santiago. Aergo is ranked among the 20 largest aircraft-leasing firms in the world.
  • // 2001
    O’Brien decided to venture into the Caribbean after Jamaica decided to open its phone market up for competition after years of being under the control of the large British company Cable & Wireless. He founded Digicel in Jamaica in 2001 which proved to be an immediate success, garnering over 1,00,000 customers in approximately 100 days.
  • // 2006 To May 2012
    He started acquiring stakes in Tony O'Reilly's Independent News & Media (INM) in 2006. Over the ensuing years, he significantly increased his ownership in the media house by accumulating additional shares in the company and became the company's second-biggest shareholder behind Tony O'Reilly. By May 2012, he had increased his ownership to a 29.9% stake in INM, making him the largest shareholder.
  • // 2010
    Along with former American President Bill Clinton, Denis O’Brien was a prominent investor of time and money in Haiti following the devastating earthquake in 2010.
  • // 2012
    Denis O’Brien was presented with the title "Clinton Global Citizen" as part of an awards scheme connected with the Clinton Global Initiative think tank in 2012.
  • // 2015
    As of 2015, Denis O’Brien has an estimated net worth of $6.8 billion

// Famous Telecommunication

Denis O’Brien's FAQ

  • What is Denis O’Brien birthday?

    Denis O’Brien was born at 1958-04-19

  • Where is Denis O’Brien's birth place?

    Denis O’Brien was born in Republic of Ireland

  • What is Denis O’Brien nationalities?

    Denis O’Brien's nationalities is Irish

  • Who is Denis O’Brien spouses?

    Denis O’Brien's spouses is Catherine Walsh

  • Who is Denis O’Brien siblings?

    Denis O’Brien's siblings is Abigail, Joanne, Kerry

  • What was Denis O’Brien universities?

    Denis O’Brien studied at Boston College, Boston College, University College Dublin

  • What was Denis O’Brien notable alumnis?

    Denis O’Brien's notable alumnis is Boston College

  • Which company or organization was founded by Denis O’Brien?

    Denis O’Brien was the founder/co-founder of BT Ireland, Digicel, Communicorp, Front Line Defenders

  • Who is Denis O’Brien's father?

    Denis O’Brien's father is Dan,Denis O’Brien Sr.

  • Who is Denis O’Brien's mother?

    Denis O’Brien's mother is Iris O’Brien

  • What is Denis O’Brien's sun sign?

    Denis O’Brien is Aries

  • How famous is Denis O’Brien?

    Denis O’Brien is famouse as Entrepreneur