Limerick, February 05, 2024: Seasoned and respected business leader Aongus Hegarty has been appointed chair of the governance committee of Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland Research (SFI) Centre for Software.

Former Dell Technologies executive Mr Hegarty said he looks forward to leading the Governance Committee, which provides a well-informed, external perspective on Lero's strategic activities.

“I cannot understate how important software is to our society and our economy. Software underpins every aspect of our lives from healthcare to banking. We are fortunate to have such a highly-regarded centre based here in Ireland. Lero is a world leader in software research and as well as making a huge contribution to society, it also has an outstanding record in providing added value to its partner companies. Along with my fellow committee members, we will harness our considerable experience to continue to support Lero’s hugely valuable academic, societal and economic contribution,” said the former Dell Technologies President for International Markets, an organisation spanning over 170 countries.

Aongus takes over the position from entrepreneur, Dr Sean Baker, a co-founder of IONA Technologies plc, who has held the role since 2015.

Welcoming the announcement, University of Limerick Vice President Research and Lero Governance Committee Member Professor Norelee Kennedy said: “We are privileged to have Aongus appointed as Governance Committee Chair for Lero. His corporate experience and strategic acumen will be invaluable in providing the necessary oversight to ensure Lero continues to be a centre of excellence for software. I would also like to thank sincerely Dr Sean Baker for his significant contribution as outgoing Lero Governance Committee Chair and to acknowledge the huge support he has given to Lero and UL over the years.”

Director of Lero Professor Lionel Briand said the organisation would benefit from the emphasis Mr Hegarty places on the interplay between people, business, and technology, recognising their pivotal and interconnected roles in propelling growth and innovation.

“Lero’s Governance Committee plays an important role in ensuring Lero meets its strategic objectives. Aongus’ experience as a global leader and influential thinker in business and technology with more than 40 years of worldwide expertise in executive positions provides Lero with a valuable asset. I look forward to working with Aongus and the Governance Committee expanding Lero’s excellent international research reputation,” said Professor Briand.

The Economist Global Diversity List recognised Aongus as one of the Top 10 Diversity Champions. In 2021, the Irish Government designated him as the Co-Chair of the Balance for Better Business (B4BB) initiative, promoting increased representation for women on company boards. He was awarded a life fellowship from the Irish Management Institute (IMI) in 2019.

Mr Hegarty, who is chair of the Munster Rugby Commercial Advisory Group, and Patron of the Special Olympics Ireland Council, is also a former chair of the Executive Council for the American Chamber of Commerce to the EU.