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New Managing Director at Compass Group Ireland

Announcement of new Managing Director

Compass Group Ireland, one of the largest foodservice businesses in the country, has announced the appointment of Deirdre O’Neill as Managing Director, effective from July.

O’Neill joined Compass Group in 2016 as Marketing Director and was appointed to the new role of Future Food Offer Director earlier this year.  She succeeds Chris Chidley, who has been promoted to Chief Growth Officer for Compass Group UK & Ireland.  Chidley will also retain the role of Chairman of Compass Group Ireland .

Announcing Deirdre O’Neill’s appointment, Chris Chidley said that he and O’Neill have worked closely to ensure a smooth transition and have implemented a strong organisational foundation on which to build on the island of Ireland.

“Deirdre O’Neill has been instrumental in the delivery of key business innovation. Her proven track record in getting the best from people and putting customers at the heart of decision-making signals a strong future for the Irish operation”, Chidley said.

The strategic development and launch of Copper Pan Kitchen in Ireland, the new Compass Group central production kitchen for fresh delivered meals, was led by Deirdre O’Neill. 

As Future Food Offer Director, O’Neill was involved in the integration of Feedr into the Dublin market.  The app-based platform digitises the inhouse food experience.  It effectively moves staff restaurants safely online, with delivered freshly-made meals in the workplace or direct to employees’ homes.

Continued support for employees

Having rapidly reshaped its foodservices operation to cater for new ways of working in the wake of Covid, Compass Group will remain firmly focussed on supporting employers in safely providing nutritious meals in the workplace, Deirdre O’Neill says of her advancement to the role of Managing Director on the island of Ireland.

“The traditional notion of 9-5 office working, five days a week, is becoming a thing of the past.   We are flexing and adapting to help employers manage unpredictability and to feed our clients’ workforces in a way that works for them”, Deirdre O’Neill says.  

With 15 years’ experience in Irish food and retail, Deirdre O’Neill joined Compass Group in 2016 to head up the marketing division and to drive digital and brand communications. She previously held marketing roles in leading FMCG companies, including Kildare-based O'Brien’s Fine Foods and Carroll's of Tullamore, as well as with HMV Ireland Xtravision.

Deirdre O’Neill is a graduate in business studies from GMIT and has a Masters in marketing from NUI Galway.

Compass Group Ireland currently employs around 1,500 people in the Republic and in Northern Ireland and is one of the largest catering groups on the island, accounting for annual revenue in the region of €70 million.   As well as the new Feedr ‘cloud canteen’, its foodservices solutions include full restaurant operations, café and coffee dock facilities, as well as bespoke catering for events and meetings.