Michael O'Leary (businessman)
O'Leary in 2011
|Born||Michael Kevin O'Leary
20 March 1961
Mullingar, County Westmeath, Ireland
|Residence||Delvin, County Westmeath|
|Education||Clongowes Wood College|
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Dublin|
|Known for||Chief Executive Officer of Ryanair|
|Parents||Ted and Ger O'Leary|
Early life 
Michael O'Leary was born 20 March 1961, the second in a family of six, in Mullingar in Westmeath. He was educated at Clongowes Wood College, County Kildare. In 1979 he began a four-year Bachelor in Economic and Social Studies programme at Trinity College. He graduated from Trinity. He then worked as a trainee with Stokes Kennedy Crowley (later known as KPMG). He studied the Irish tax system. He left after two years in 1985, setting up profitable newsagents in Walkinstown and Terenure, Dublin.
In Stokes Kennedy Crowley, O'Leary met Tony Ryan, head of GPA (Guinness Peat Aviation, a leasing company), who was one of the firm's clients. He advised Ryan on his personal income tax affairs. In 1987, Ryan hired O'Leary as his personal financial and tax advisor. Ryan's main interest was in GPA. Ryanair was established around this time. The fledgling airline followed a traditional business model, but quickly began to lose money. O'Leary was sent to the USA to study the novel Southwest Airlines business model.
Ryanair career 
O'Leary was deputy chief executive of Ryanair between 1991 and 1994. In January 1994 he was promoted to chief executive of Ryanair. Under O'Leary's management, Ryanair further developed the low-cost model originated by Southwest Airlines. O'Leary may have described the inauguration of the ancillary revenue movement during a 2001 interview in The Sunday Times. "The other airlines are asking how they can put up fares. We are asking how we could get rid of them." The business model envisioned by O'Leary uses receipts from on board shopping, internet gaming, car hire and hotel bookings to replace the ticket revenue from selling airline seats. Savings are also made by negotiating discounts with airports for reduced landing fees. In many cases, regional airports have made no charges so as to secure flights that bring passengers and wealth into their area.
Controversy and reputation 
O'Leary has a reputation for loose talk in the airline industry and among its regulators. Many press articles have often described him as arrogant, and prone to making comments which he later contradicts. He has been extravagantly outspoken in his public statements, sometimes resorting to personal attacks and foul language. His abrasive management style, ruthless pursuit of cost-cutting and his explicitly hostile attitude towards corporate competitors, airport authorities, governments, unions and customers has become a hallmark. He was reported to have been aggressive and hostile in dealings with a woman who was awarded free flights for life in 1988. In 2007, he was forced to retract a claim that Ryanair had cut emissions of carbon dioxide by half over the previous five years; the claim should have been that emissions 'per passenger' had been cut by half. O'Leary has been reported to have impersonated a journalist in an attempt to find information passed on to a newspaper following a safety incident on a Ryanair flight. On occasion he has apologised for personal attacks under threat of legal action. He has been criticized by a judge for lying, who said he was lucky not to be found guilty of contempt of court.
In a press conference discussing Ryanair's planned intercontinental service RyanAtlantic, O'Leary jokingly described the airline's planned business class travel experience as featuring "whores and rum". In 2002 he said that his company is against any long-haul transatlantic services., stating that:
The low-cost model only really works for short-haul flights [...] If we started flying farther afield, we'd have to do something stupid like introducing what I call a 'rich class' to make it pay.
Reacting to the decision to close European airspace in April 2010 over worries about the ash plume from an erupting Icelandic volcano he said "there was no ash cloud. It was mythical. It's become evident the airspace closure was completely unnecessary." Scientists later concluded that serious structural damage to aircraft could have occurred if passenger planes had continued to fly.
Registration of private car as taxi 
In 2004 he purchased a taxi plate for his Mercedes-Benz, to enable it to be classified as a taxi so that he could legally make use of Dublin's bus lanes to speed up his car journeys around the city. A press report suggested that since he was stopped driving his own taxi, he has employed a driver with full PSV licence. In 2005 the Irish transport minister expressed concern at this abuse by O'Leary and others.
Personal life 
He breeds Aberdeen Angus cattle and horses at his Gigginstown House Stud in County Westmeath. In 2006, his horse War Of Attrition won the Cheltenham Gold Cup. This is the blue riband of steeplechasing.
O'Leary has also been a Manchester City supporter since a young age and notably wore a Manchester City shirt when unveiling Ryanair's new destinations to and from Manchester Airport in 2011. O'Leary once declined a Manchester United sponsorship by burning the shirt that United sent to him.
- "People: Ryanair Holdings PLC (RYAAY.O) - O'Leary, Michael". Reuters.com.
- "Rich list". The Times (London). Retrieved 2010-05-12.
- "Information on "Facebook"". Facebook.com. 1961-03-20. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
- By Matthew Maier, Business 2.0 Magazine staff writer (2006-03-31). "A radical Fix for Airlines: Make Flying Free, '''Forbes''', 1 April 2006". Money.cnn.com. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
- "Flying for Free on Ryanair", 13 May 2001, BBC News
- RTÉ radio 10 February 2007, in "Conversations with Eamon Dunphy"
- Irish Post: Ryanair chief hints of possible departure
- Byrne, Cormac (2009-11-30). "How Mick told Marian (on her own show) that he'd chop her holidays". Evening Herald. Retrieved 2009-12-22.
- ZEIT ONLINE GmbH, Hamburg, Germany. "Die Festung wankt: Europas mächtige Wettbewerbshüter verurteilen Microsoft und stoppen Fusionen. Geschwächt von Pannen, geraten sie jetzt in den Machtkampf um die Besetzung der EU-Kommission. Eine Innenansicht Von Arne Storn | ZEIT online". Zeit.de. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
- ePolitix.com - Ryanair slams air passenger duty
- Auteur: Helena WILMET. "Het Nieuwsblad - Ryanair-topman Michael O'Leary schudde luchtvaartwereld wakker". Nieuwsblad.be. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
- British GQ 10 Things To Know Today[dead link]
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- "NTR | Home". Rvu.nl. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
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- Vallely, Paul (2006-10-07). "Michael O'Leary: Plane crazy". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2010-05-12.
- Aldrick, Philip (2006-10-05). "O'Leary: the man and the mouth". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2010-05-12.
- Clark, Andrew (2005-06-24). "The Guardian profile: Michael O'Leary". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-05-12.
- Kundnani, Hans (2006-10-06). "Michael O'Leary: Stunt pilot whose enemies would love to see him crash". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-05-12.
- Asthana, Anushka (2006-06-20). "When I stuff BA Ill quit". The Times (London). Retrieved 2010-05-12.
- "Boeing Frontiers Online". Boeing.com. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
- "Snarling all the way to the bank". The Economist. 2007-08-23.
- How to wear: (2007-11-29). "Taking the flight fight to Ryanair - Irish, Business". Independent.ie. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
- Walsh, Fiona (2008-02-04). "Ryanair warns high oil prices could slash its profits by 50% next year". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-05-12.
- "War in Irish skies". Belfasttelegraph.co.uk. 2008-08-04. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
- “Woman claims Ryanair reneged on free travel prize”, 28 February 2002, at RTE Business; last accessed 18 December 2006.
- Sage, Mark (2002-06-20). "Ryanair ordered to pay damages for reneging on 'free flights' offer to millionth customer". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2010-05-12.
- “Ryanair retracts emissions claim”, 29 January 2007, at news.bbc.co.uk; last accessed 19 March 2010.
- Duggan, Barry (2010-11-18). "Ryanair staff were menacing: passenger - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie". Unison.ie. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
- "Sat, May 08, 2010 - O'Leary in court apology to union official". The Irish Times. 2010-05-05. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
- "Judge criticises Michael O'Leary for lying - RTÉ News". Rte.ie. 2010-03-26. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
- "Free Oral Sex to Business Class Customers on Ryanair says CEO". LiveLeak.com. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
- Bridge, Adrian (2002-04-02). "Eindhoven: haven't you always wanted to go?". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2010-05-12.
- Cool pools (2011-04-26). "Steve Connor: Airspace closure due to ash cloud fears 'was right move' - Analysis, Opinion". Independent.ie. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
- Henderson, Deric (2010-11-18). "News Ireland | Irish News Paper | Free News Stories Online from The Irish Independent Newspaper - Independent.ie". Unison.ie. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
- "Ireland Taxi Ireland Hackney cab Irish Taxi chauffeur transport". Taxi.ie. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
- "Michael O'Leary: 'I don't understand the point of holidays'". Irish Independent. 16 January 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
- 2006 "Cheltenham Gold Cup, 16 March 2006".
- Simon Calder (2006-08-18). "Profile: Michael O'Leary". BBC News. Retrieved 4 June 2009.
- "Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary announces 26 routes from Manchester Airport which could create up to 2,000 jobs". Manchester Evening News. 12 July 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
- Hawkes, Steve (1 December 2009 - A Manchester City fan, O'Leary also upset Manchester United by declining a sponsorship opportunity. He said: "They sent us a shirt with Ryanair on it. I burned it.). "Michael O'Leary - The Sun". London: thesun.co.uk.
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