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, will be given to Sir Anthony in recognition of his leadership, since the early 1970s, at Independent News & Media PLC, which is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. With interests worldwide, O’Reilly has built a geographically unique and diverse portfolio of market-leading brands spanning four 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 Dainik Jagran in India.
Terry Savage, Cannes Festival Chairman, said, “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.”
Born in Dublin, Sir Anthony’s distinguished career includes serving as CEO of the Irish Dairy Board, launching and developing the international food brand ‘Kerrygold’ and Managing Director of the Irish Sugar Company, before joining the HJ Heinz Company, one of the world’s largest food marketing companies.
He retired as Chairman of the HJ Heinz Company in 2000, after leading the company for nearly 30 years, during that time the market capitalisation had grown from $900 million to over $15 billion.
He is also Chairman of Waterford Wedgwood PLC, one of the leading international luxury goods groups. 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.