SIRO, the telecoms joint venture between the ESB and Vodafone, is getting a new chief executive.

John Keaney, who is currently the finance director at the company, is taking over from current CEO Sean Atkinson. 

It is understood that Mr Atkinson is to return to the ESB from where he was seconded to lead the partnership when it was first set up. 

The move is part of a planned agreement between the two companies that would see someone from the ESB initially lead SIRO for the first four years, and the role then taken over by someone from the Vodafone side. 

Mr Keaney joined SIRO after working for Vodafone for 10 years. 

As part of the arrangement, ESB will now appoint someone to replace Mr Keaney as finance director. 

It is understood that Mr Atkinson will take up a position as head of ESB International. 

Since its establishment four years ago, SIRO has been engaged in rolling out a fibre to the building network around the country. 

Its 1 gigabit broadband network is now live in 30 towns across the country, with 10 retailers offering connections to 200,000 homes and businesses.  

SIRO was one of the three shortlisted bidders for the National Broadband Plan contract, but pulled out last year out of concern that it could not make a commercially viable pitch for the project. 

The plan is currently stalled as independent auditor Peter Smyth considers whether the procurement process has been undermined by contacts between former Minister for Communications, Denis Naughten, and David McCourt, the businessman leading the last remaining consortium bidding for the project.