Barry O'Connell, New Managing Director

Barry O’Connell brings more than 21 years of experience in the Coca-Cola system to his new role as Managing Director of Coca-Cola Amatil for the New Zealand and Fiji operations.

Barry O’Connell brings more than 21 years of experience in the Coca-Cola system to his new role as Managing Director of Coca-Cola Amatil for the New Zealand and Fiji operations.

He joins us from the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (CCHBC) where he was General Manager, Austria and Slovenia. His leadership over the past five years resulted in the Austrian business being one of the best performing operations in the CCHBC network.

He says while each market he has worked in has been different, what has been consistent was the quality and motivation of the people with which he has worked, and the commitment of the Coca-Cola System to add value to the economy and the communities it serves.

“We continue to implement real and meaningful initiatives in the areas of environment, community and promoting healthy and active lifestyles.”

Mr O’Connell has spent the majority of his career working in the highly developed markets of Ireland, Switzerland and Austria. Each of which has similar market structures and dynamics to New Zealand. Retail consolidation, market stagnation and high price competition are key features of these markets.

He says bringing innovative ideas to life, which add real and sustainable value to the business’s categories, finding new ways of collaborating with industry partners to allow them to compete but also differentiate themselves, building great teams and remaining cost competitive, were the key challenges faced in Europe.

“It’s neither an easy nor quick journey but we have proven that it is possible and it is very rewarding.”

Mr O’Connell has also spent several years in Russia establishing the business.

“It was an extremely exciting and challenging period which really taught me the basics of the business and the challenges of operating in a highly fluid and dynamic market.”

Born in the Republic of Ireland, Mr O’Connell is looking forward to the challenges and the opportunities which New Zealand will present.

“Coca-Cola Amatil is a very successful and dynamic company and I have had the pleasure of working with some of its senior team over the years. This coupled with the opportunity of living in one of the most beautiful country’s in the world in a culture which is so close to my own, made the decision an easy one.”