Serial Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
Denis O’Brien is an Irish entrepreneur and founder of multiple telecommunications companies. In addition to his business ventures, he holds board memberships with various philanthropic organisations.
Denis began his entrepreneurial career in 1989 when he founded broadcast radio company, Communicorp. He also founded Esat telecommunications in 1991, which Denis led to be the number two telecommunications company in Ireland. After finding success in telecommunications in Ireland, Denis took his experience to the Caribbean with a goal of bringing modern telecommunications technology to untapped markets. Denis founded the Caribbean telecom provider, Digicel, in 2001 and currently serves as its Chairman. Since Digicel’s founding, the company has expanded to over 32 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific.
Denis recognises the importance of giving back to the communities in need. Denis founded the Digicel Foundation in 2004 to grow communities where Digicel grows. As the foundation’s Patron, Denis has helped to fund and institute multiple projects to assist millions of people. These projects focus on advancing education, promoting sustainable community development, and increasing access for the Special Needs community.
Beyond his philanthropic work with the Digicel Foundation, Denis is Chairman of the Council of Patrons for Special Olympics Ireland and serves on the U.S. Board for Concern Worldwide. Additionally, he founded the Iris O’Brien Foundation in honor of his mother. The foundation advocates for human rights, disaster aid, those with special needs, educational programmes and the promotion of art.
Denis has also made contributions to his alma mater, University College Dublin. Most notably, he gifted The O’Brien Centre for Science to help the university grow its scientific community. Denis also established the O’Brien Fellowship at Boston College Carroll School of Management which supports MBA students by providing scholarship winners with financial coverage for tuition, books, and living expenses.