B&F Business Person of the Month, January 2013 – Eamonn Sinnott, GM Intel Ireland
Intel Ireland is one of the country’s biggest private employers and general manager Eamonn Sinnott has been a major player in Intel’s Irish operation for over 20 years.
An Bórd Pleanála recently granted Intel Ireland planning permission for an expansion of their facility at Leixlip, Co. Kildare which the chip maker says could yield up to 800 long-term jobs and 3,500 construction jobs for two years. The decision to grant permission for the 255,819 sq. m expansion could pave the way for Intel Ireland to be selected by Intel executives in California as one of the three locations to build the next generation of microchips.
Since locating its technology campus in Ireland in 1989 and beginning hardware production the following year, Intel has invested €7.5 billion at its Leixlip plant with over 4,500 people presently working for Intel Ireland between that base and its Shannon centre.
The Leixlip campus is one of Intel’s highest-volume manufacturing sites in the world and Intel Ireland general manager – and the vice president of the Technology & Manufacturing Group, Intel Corporation – Eamonn Sinnott has been a major player in Intel’s Irish operation since 1991.
Research continues to be a vital aspect to Intel’s operations in Ireland with the company’s research unit Intel Labs Europe opening Intel’s second European Innovation Open Lab at the Leixlip base in 2009. The facility fosters cooperation between Intel, industry and academia through joint research and innovation programs and facilitates the enhancement of innovation opportunities in Europe that can be converted into various broadly based and value-driven technology solutions.
The research being undertaken by Intel in Ireland could prove increasingly important to the company’s operations here, as globally Intel is going through a period of change. For the full year in 2012, Intel reported global revenue of $53.3 billion, operating income of $14.6 billion, net income of $11.0 billion and earnings per share of 48 cents.
The company generated approximately $18.9 billion in cash from operations, paid dividends of $4.4 billion, and used $4.8 billion to repurchase 191 million shares of stock.
In an interview with Business & Finance in 2011, Sinnott said that he believes it is crucial that there is no change to the corporate tax rate and even a 1% or 2% hike would send out the wrong message: “What multinationals crave is certainty. When you change that, then the analysis of the country changes.”
Sinnott has also espoused Ireland as a manufacturing location saying that it has as important a role as the smart economy in Ireland’s recovery: “In Ireland we have built up skills and experience in advanced manufacturing that is a national asset. It should not be allowed go with the low skilled mass manufacturing. That would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. We have to recognise that we have a competence in advanced manufacturing in this country in biopharma, biomed, IT and ICT that is healthy and vibrant. The companies involved in these sectors in this country are all cash rich.”
Sinnott has been a major player in Intel’s Irish operation since 1991, becoming a plant manager in 2006. He has held a variety of factory management positions in Ireland, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Portland, Oregon. As well as being general manager of Intel Ireland, Sinnott is also an Intel Vice President within the corporation’s technology manufacturing group.
Prior to joining Intel, Sinnott worked as an engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation and as a manufacturing manager at Nuvotem.
Sinnott is a board member of the Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN), Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland.