Sir Anthony O'Reilly Named Cannes Media Person of the Year

Sir Anthony O’Reilly, Chief Executive of the international media and communications group, Independent News & Media PLC (INM), will be honoured with the Media Person of the Year Award at the 55th Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

The award, which pays tribute to a prominent personality from the worldwide media industry, is given in recognition of Sir Anthony’s leadership, since the early 1970’s, of the fast-growing international media and communications group Independent News & Media PLC, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. With interests worldwide, Sir Anthony has built a geographically unique and diverse portfolio of market-leading brands spanning 4 continents, 10 major markets and 22 individual countries.

The company owns and publishes over 200 newspaper and magazine titles delivering a combined weekly circulation of over 32 million copies with a weekly audience of over 100 million consumers, with market-leading newspaper positions in Australia (regional), India, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa. Titles include the UK national daily newspaper The Independent and the world’s largest read newspaper, Dainik Jagran in India.

INM is the largest radio operator in Australasia with more than 130 radio stations; over 100 editorial and commercial websites and is the largest outdoor advertising operator in Australasia and Africa, with leading positions in Hong Kong, Malaysia, India and Indonesia.

“The prestigious Media Person of the Year Award is being presented this year to one of the world’s top media leaders. We are delighted to honour Sir Anthony, a formidable personality with a diverse career, in recognition of his business proficiency and leadership skills of a top international media organisation”, said Terry Savage, Chairman of the Festival.

On receiving the award, Sir Anthony said: “I am extremely honoured to join such an extraordinary group of people who have made an enormous contribution to the world of media”.

Born in Dublin, Sir Anthony O’Reilly was educated at University College Dublin and The Incorporated Law Society of Ireland. An honours graduate in civil law and a solicitor, he earned his Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Bradford, England. Sir Anthony’s distinguished career includes serving as Chief Executive Officer of the Irish Dairy Board, launching and developing the international food brand ‘Kerrygold’ and Managing Director of the Irish Sugar Company, before joining the H.J. Heinz Company, one of the world’s largest food marketing companies.

Sir Anthony retired as Chairman of the H.J. Heinz Company in 2000, after leading the company for nearly 30 years, during that time the market capitalisation had grown from US$900 million to over US$15 billion. He succeeded H.J. Heinz II, a grandson of the founder and became the first non-family member to serve as Chairman. During that time, he also became the first Irishman to lead a Fortune 500 Company.

Sir Anthony is also Chairman of Waterford Wedgwood PLC, one of the leading international luxury goods groups, whose brands enjoy worldwide recognition. He has also served on the Board of The Washington Post, General Electric, Mobil Corporation (now ExxonMobil), Bankers Trust, Eircom PLC and The New York Stock Exchange.

A former international rugby player, having played for Ireland, the British and Irish “Lions” and the Barbarians, Sir Anthony is the highest try scorer in the history of the British and Irish Lions.

Active in many cultural and charitable organisations, Sir Anthony is Chairman and co-founder of the Ireland Funds, the largest worldwide network of people of Irish ancestry and friends of Ireland, dedicated to raising funds to support programmes of peace and reconciliation, arts and culture, education and community development in Ireland, North and South. To date, over $300 million has been raised and distributed by the Ireland Funds. Sir Anthony is a key benefactor of Ireland’s major educational institutions and separately, through the O’Reilly Foundation supports students in their academic endeavours worldwide.

The trophy will be presented to Sir Anthony O’Reilly during the Press, Cyber and Design Lions Awards Ceremony on the evening of Wednesday 18 June, in the Palais des Festivals, Cannes.

INM is a leading international media and communications group, with its main interests in Australia, India, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Spanning four continents, 10 major markets and 22 individual countries, INM has market-leading newspaper positions in Australia (regional), India, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa. In the United Kingdom, it publishes the flagship national title, The Independent, as well as being the largest newspaper group in Northern Ireland.

Across these regions, the Group publishes over 200 newspaper and magazine titles, delivering a combined weekly circulation of over 32 million copies with a weekly audience of over 100 million consumers and includes the world’s largest read newspaper Dainik Jagran, in India. The Group has established a strong and growing online presence, with over 100 editorial, classified and transactional sites.

INM is the largest radio operator – over 130 stations and an audience of almost six million people – and the largest outdoor advertising operator in Australasia and Africa, with leading outdoor advertising positions in Hong Kong, Malaysia, India and Indonesia.

The Group has grown consistently over the last 15 years by building a geographically unique and diverse portfolio of market-leading brands, and manages gross assets of €4.7 billion, revenue of €1.9 billion and employs approximately 9,600 people worldwide.

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