Tullow CEO, Jacob Fruitfield chair receive alumni award

The executive chairman of the Jacob Fruitfield Food Group Michael Carey and Tullow Oil CEO Aidan Heavey have been named as this year’s UCD Business Alumni of the Year.

The award, which is the highest honour UCD School of Business can bestow on a graduate, recognise those of its alumni who have demonstrated proven leadership skills, notable achievement in business and a significant contribution to the community, whether in Ireland or abroad.

Commenting on this year’s winners, Professor Tom Begley, Dean of UCD School of Business, said: “We are delighted to honour Michael Carey and Aidan Heavey as our 2010 Alumni of the Year. Not only have they had considerable impact within their individual industries, they have also shown great spirit and dedication to social initiatives.”

Carey turns company around
Michael Carey began his entrepreneurial life when he acquired Fruitfield Foods in July 2002, just a week short of his 40th birthday.

He succeeded in turning the company around, taking it from losses of around €2m a year to a profitable business within just six months. Last year, Jacob Fruitfield, with leading Irish brands including Fig Rolls, Chef, Kimberley, Mikado, Fruitfield, Club Milk and Silvermints, had a turnover of €110 million.

Carey said receiving the award was an honour. “The influence of UCD graduates on Irish business is extraordinary and standing among peers and previous winners of this award such as Gina Quin, Tony Garry and Liam FitzGerald is a privilege,” he added.

Heavey grows Tullow into leading explorer
Aidan Heavey (pictured) established Tullow Oil in 1985 and since then has developed it into a leading independent oil and gas exploration company.

With no experience in the industry, Heavey acquired his first oil prospects in Africa in 1986. Tullow now holds some of the most attractive oil prospects in the world, most notably in Ghana and Uganda. It is listed on the FTSE 100 and has a market capitalisation in excess of Ł10.8bn. The company currently operates in 23 countries and employs over 500 people.

Carey, who graduated with an MBS from UCD Smurfit School in 1984, will be awarded the UCD Smurfit School Alumnus of the Year, while Heavey, who graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1973, will be awarded the UCD Quinn School Alumnus of the Year before 350 guests who are expected to attend the Alumni Awards fundraising dinner in Dublin tonight.

Pictured: Tullow Oil CEO Aidan Heavey