Meet Alix, Head of Disruptive Innovation & New Ventures

Our people are our greatest asset, and they each have a unique story to tell. Alix Rimington, Head of Disruptive Innovation & New Ventures, Amatil X shares her views on working at Amatil.

Hi Alix, what is your favourite beverage and who would you share it with?

My favourite beverage depends on the time of day. In the morning, it’s definitely a Grinders coffee (or two). This is followed by Mount Franklin products – still & sparkling. I’ve recently tried a couple of our rum cocktails and they are excellent – I would like to share one of those with the founder of our first startup investment to IPO! Hopefully we don’t have to wait too long for that.

Tell us about your career path before joining Coca-Cola Amatil?

I started my career in media sales but have spent the majority of my time working in Corporate Affairs, including more than 10 years at Telstra. In 2014, I was seconded from Telstra to the B20 (the business group advising the G20 on policy) as Communications Director, during Australia’s G20 host year. 

At Amatil I have been lucky enough to have three very different roles. I joined in March 2015 as General Manager, Public Affairs and Communications – Australian Beverages. I then moved into the Group Leadership Team (GLT) Executive role in August 2016 and this year I started a full-time role as Head of Disruptive Innovation and New Ventures in the Amatil X team. While working as GLT Executive, I played a formative role in establishing Amatil X, so I’m excited to now be working in the team full time.

Why did you want to work with the team at Amatil?

I was initially attracted to the Coca-Cola Amatil brand. I knew the company had some incredible assets but also faced a number of challenges, particularly around sugar and packaging. As a corporate affairs professional, I was drawn to the issues as they are areas I’m interested in. I also really liked the team. Kate Mason was my first manager at Amatil and as soon I met her, I knew I wanted to work with her.

I joined Amatil when the Public Affairs and Communications (PACS) function was undergoing a lot of change which meant I could re-focus the PACS strategy in Australian Beverages and build a new team. It was a fantastic #onlyatamatil opportunity.

What does the Head of Disruptive Innovation & New Ventures role involve?

My focus in the Amatil X team is to build capability and connect Amatil businesses to the startup ecosystem. Through Amatil X we will scout for startups to help solve business challenges or address future customer needs.

How does the Amatil X partner with the broader business?

In Amatil X, effectively partnering with all Amatil businesses and helping them address some of their key priorities is critical to our success. I am currently working with colleagues in Indonesia and New Zealand to identify 2-3 business challenges / opportunities for 2019 where Amatil X can add value.

What is the team’s area of focus for the next 12 months?

Amatil X launched in April 2018 as a new platform to identify, nurture and scale opportunities for growth outside of our existing businesses and beyond our core products and services. Our focus in 2018 was to learn by doing, which we did via our venturing arm AX Ventures (with two investments), our accelerator, Xcelerate (a six-month program in Australia & NZ with internal and external participants) and a number of other initiatives under the Xponential banner. We now have a solid understanding of the local startup ecosystem and what is required to be a legitimate and successful participant.

In 2019, we will focus on three areas: Scouting for startups – to solve existing business challenges or address a future customer need (to work with or invest in), corporate venturing, and being catalysts for disruptive change.

Our People Pact represents the commitment made between Amatil and our employees. Which pillar of the People Pact resonates with you the most and why?

‘Write the Next Chapter’ definitely resonates with me in my role in Amatil X. We’re looking at new business models, disruptive innovation and emerging ventures which will help to shape the future of our business. Working in Amatil X, I believe I have a real opportunity to help write the next chapter in the Amatil story … it’s a very exciting place to be!

What are your top three tips for being a positive role model at Amatil?

Bring your whole self to work - people want the authentic ‘you’, not just the work you.

Take the time to get to know your colleagues - you don’t need to become best friends with everyone but taking the time to get to know people and what motivates them can be very rewarding.

Live our values.

How will you enjoy your next annual leave day?

I have just returned from two weeks leave, so it will be a while before the next break … But as I’m celebrating a milestone birthday this year I have a couple of holidays planned. I’m heading up to Noosa with my family and some friends for the Easter / Anzac Day holiday period and then we’re off to Europe for a few weeks later in the year.

What is your #onlyatamatil moment and why did it make a difference to you?

There have been many, many moments particularly in the last few years as GLT Executive. A recent stand out was at the end of a business review in Fiji last year when without warning the local team broke into song (twice!) to farewell the GLT. It was extraordinarily moving. It was my last business review as GLT Executive and a reminder of what an amazing organisation I work for. Every business and every team has made me feel very welcome and taught me so much over the past 2.5 years.