Sharon O’Brien is a successful global leader and former CEO, COO, and CIO with deep experience in transformation, IT, and technical innovation across several business domains. With her blend of IT specialization and operational expertise, O’Brien has a proven track record in driving business performance, strategy, scale, and leading complex teams.
In addition to her work at The ExCo Group, O’Brien currently serves on the Ireland board of the multinational insurance company, Aviva. She previously served as Executive Director of the Liberty Insurance Ireland board and as a member of the Investments Committee.
Most recently, O’Brien served as Global Business Agility Leader of Global Retail Markets (GRM) for Liberty Mutual. In this role, O’Brien partnered with the Markets, Regional Teams, and Global functions to transform their markets through re-imagining their business model, redesigning business processes, and deploying digitized solutions around the world. In collaboration with Global IT, O’Brien led the implementation of a new digitized ecosystem for the Western Europe Market, a €1.2B business in Spain, Ireland, and Portugal. She also led the design of a “Readiness and Enablement” methodology to facilitate market readiness and execution capability to absorb full-scale digital transformation, and successfully executed the assessment in Latin American and Asian markets. One such assessment drove the successful implementation of a new Direct Auto channel in Vietnam.
Previously, as COO and subsequently CEO of Liberty Insurance Ireland, O’Brien helped drive and ultimately lead the Irish business through a turnaround by defining and executing a recovery strategy, resulting in sustainable profit. Under her leadership, the business experienced significant growth of its digital channel, as well as a significant increase in eNPS through a culture program for employee and customer advocacy.
O’Brien also held the role in Liberty Insurance Ireland of Chief Information Officer. As CIO, O’Brien oversaw operations and strategy for IT, and helped in the development of a technical infrastructure roadmap for a major restructuring of the business’s IT function. This included a fundamental overhaul of the IT service support model, including right-sizing of software and professional service contracts, driving significant operational and cost efficiencies.
Before joining Liberty Mutual, O’Brien held various Senior Leader roles in Aviva Ireland (AI) and Aviva Europe (AE). In AI she led the definition and implementation of a 3-year transformation strategy which included the establishment of an off-shore operation to drive operational efficiency. In AE she supported the definition and implementation of market-entry and new product/channel strategies in European markets.
O’Brien graduated from the University of Ulster with a B.Sc. (Honors) in computer science, and later received her Certified Diploma in Accounting and Finance from ACCA. O’Brien is passionate about her two dogs, and loves to cook, having completed a professional cookery course. She currently resides in Dublin, Ireland.