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Herbie goes to the US: Eircom boss stands down after company float shelved

The company’s CEO is headed home less that two weeks after plans to go public (again) are put off.

Eircom chief executive Herb Hribar with Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
Eircom chief executive Herb Hribar with Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE BOSS OF Eircom has stepped down less than two weeks after the telecoms company publicly shelved plans to float on the stock market for its third time.

Chief executive Herb Hribar decided not to renew his contract and instead he will return to the US after two years at the helm the company, it was announced this morning.

Eircom’s chief financial officer, Richard Moat, was immediately put in Hribar’s place as acting CEO until a permanent replacement was found.

Eircom chairman Padraig McManus said Hribar had led the company through a “critical juncture” in its transformation and he had overseen investment in its networks which meant it was now Ireland’s largest fibre operator.

“He has tirelessly dedicated himself to reshape the company and deliver world class products and services to our customers,” he said.

All of this was achieved while reducing our cost base and improving our competitiveness.”

Eircom launch fibre network Eircom chief executive Herb Hribar with Taoiseach Enda Kenny last year. Source: Niall Carson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Eircom fibre has been hooked up to about 1 million Irish premises and the company is aiming to hit 1.6 million by the end of 2016.

Revenues from the company’s core fixed-line business have been sliding – down 7% in the last quarter – but it has been making up some of the losses through higher profits from its mobile customers.

Not going public

In April the company declared it was looking at a possible public offering amid “encouraging signs of positive momentum in the business”, but two weeks ago it said the plans had been shelved for now.

It would have been the third time the former state-owned telecoms provider, which emerged from examinership in 2012 after €1.7 billion in its debts were written off, had been listed on the stock market.

Hribar, who was raised and educated in the US, rejoined the company in September 2012 after previously serving as its managing director about 10 years earlier.

READ: Eircom is the newest arrival at the very-crowded movie download party

READ: More than 8,000 metres of eircom cable stolen in 2014

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Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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