Denis O’Brien is Chairman and principal shareholder of the privately-owned Digicel Group, one of the fastest growing cellular companies in the world.
Mr. O’Brien founded Digicel in 2001 when the company launched a GSM cellular phone service in the Caribbean. The Digicel Group has extended its operations to 32 markets with over 11.9 million subscribers in the Caribbean, Central America and South Pacific regions, including Jamaica, Haiti, Panama and Papua New Guinea.
Mr. O’Brien is one of Ireland’s leading entrepreneurs with extensive investments across several sectors including international telecoms, radio, media, property, aircraft leasing, golf, recruitment and other interests. He also founded Communicorp Group which owns and manages a portfolio of media and broadcasting-related companies in Ireland and seven other European countries.
Denis O’Brien founded the Esat Telecom Group plc and built it throughout the 1990’s until its sale to British Telecom plc for € 2.4 billion.
Outside of his extensive business interests, Denis chaired the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Ireland. It was the first time the Summer Games were staged outside the US with teams from 160 countries and over 30,000 volunteers, the 2003 Summer Games were the most successful ever.
In addition, he is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Frontline, the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders. Based in Dublin, Frontline is working to ensure that the standards set out in the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted in 1998, are known, respected and adhered to worldwide. Frontline’s work consists of research, advocacy, communications/technical assistance and emergency evacuation of human rights activists.
In 2000 he established The Iris O’Brien Foundation to identify and assist projects in Ireland and internationally which aim to alleviate disadvantaged communities.
Denis holds a BA degree from University College Dublin and an MBA from Boston College.