Read about the journeys that some our people have made in their careers at Coca‑Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland and the contribution they make to our great company.

I am proud to say I work for Coca‑Cola HBC Tara O'Rourke, Head of Hellenic Brand Marketing
Tara's story so far

Head of Hellenic Brand Marketing
Huntstown, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Favourite Coca‑Cola HBC product: Deep RiverRock

 

Since graduating from Trinity College Dublin with an Honours BSC. Management Degree and Advanced Diploma in Marketing from the College of Marketing & Design, I have gained 23 years’ experience across all facets of FMCG Marketing (including Consumer, Customer and Shopper). My experience includes roles in Ireland, Germany, Australia and the US, developing brand positioning, strategic vision and leading teams. Prior to this I have held a number of positions including Away From Home Market Manager in Kraft Foods, Senior Client Account Manager in ACNielsen and Marketing Executive with the Smurfit Group. Continuous professional development is important. I have completed ongoing training to strengthen my skillset including Strategic Business Planning, Consumer Insights, Negotiating Skills, The Coca‑Cola Way of Interactive Marketing, Situational Leadership, Leading with Presence and more recently a Diploma in Digital Marketing and Elevating Women in Business

When I joined Coca‑Cola Bottlers Ireland back in 2006, I expected it to be a leading dynamic fast paced successful company. I knew the employees would be smart hard workers but I also thought it would be a really fun place to work. As a child I looked up to this world famous cool brand and I guessed working for Coca‑Cola Hellenic would have to be tough and challenging, but at the end of the day worthwhile. All the expectations I had have been fully met and I am lucky to work with such a fantastic bunch of talented people.

"I am proud to say I work for Coca‑Cola Hellenic"

My first role was Marketing Manager, Water Brands for our portfolio (Deep RiverRock and Vittel). The real benefit of working with own brands is that you can shape every aspect of the strategy. You do not always get the opportunity to develop the brand story and point of difference, build the communications or design the packaging. I was appointed to my current position of Head of CCHBC Brands Marketing in 2012. I have overall responsibility for delivery of the long term strategic brand vision and ultimately driving sustainable profitable growth for Hellenic brands on the island of Ireland (mainly focussing on Deep RiverRock water and Fruice juice). This involves managing the Hellenic Brands Marketing team, working closely cross-functionally and externally with agencies, suppliers and customers. I have a passion for our brands and love working with them. Whenever I’m asked where I work I am proud to be an ambassador and say I work for Coca‑Cola Hellenic.

Being results-driven is important and strengths in the areas of commercial acumen, passion, creativity, activation and communication have really helped. Coca‑Cola Hellenic’s Key Result Areas include Management, Business & Finance, People Development, Leadership, Relationships, Growth & Innovation and Corporate Social Responsibility. Developing skills under each of these areas but especially in Leadership and Growth & Innovation are important for Marketers. An ability to accept and embrace change and adapt to new approaches has been a benefit in this ever changing competitive world we operate in.

I would advise any new starter to network across the business. Get to know others at every opportune moment. I have met some great people in other functions who I may never have worked directly with. You never know how they may help you out in the future or appreciate advice from you. Talk with colleagues in the canteen and say hello on the corridor. Mix with people at work events and this will help you build cross functional contacts and relationships.

Step outside of your comfort zone and try new things Mark Haughey, Sustainability Manager
Mark's story so far

Sustainability Manager IOI
Knockmorehill, Lisburn, Northern Ireland
Favourite Coca‑Cola HBC product: Coke Zero Sugar

 

I joined Coca‑Cola in 2003 as a quality team supervisor. I expected Coca‑Cola Hellenic to be a fast moving and dynamic company; true to form, it was. I was involved in topics and business decisions from the first month. Operating a multiple levels was the biggest positive change for me to embrace, as I had interactions from shop floor to General Manager Level within the first three months of joining.

From Supervisor, I moved to Production Manager within nine months, and then onto Operations Manager at our Lambeg site in County Antrim. With our plant opening in Knockmore Hill, Lisburn, an opportunity opened for me as Operation Manager and then Zone Operation Manager. I moved into the position of Continuous Improvement Manager and in 2015, I became Sustainability Manager for the island of Ireland, looking after Quality, Environment, Health & Safety.

"Step outside your comfort zone and try new things"

I worked for a small local bottler for five years as Quality and Production Manager, before joining Coca‑Cola HBC. I was educated at University of Ulster and Loughry College in both Business Studies with Marketing and Food Technology.

I am passionate about making a difference and I really enjoy helping people to deliver against their target actions. I prefer working side by side with someone to help them achieve their goals. The impact of working in Coca‑Cola HBC has pushed me outside my comfort zone on a number of occasions including presenting to the CEO of company, and preparing and delivering business plans and projects which added significant value to the company’s profitability and performance.

My advice to a new employee within the company would be; don’t hold back, embrace every opportunity you are given and if you are not offered an opportunity – then volunteer yourself to be included! We always want to see people embrace situations and try new things. Take every experience as a learning opportunity.

My Advice... take ownership of your personal development Johnny Weir, Group Commercial & Experiential Executive Director
Johnny's story so far

Group Commercial & Experiential Executive Director, Cold Drinks
Knockmorehill, Lisburn, Northern Ireland
Favourite Coca‑Cola HBC product: Diet Coke

 

I started my career as a Business Developer nearly 25 years ago responsible for a territory in South Armagh. Over the following years, I progressed to my first management role as a Business Development Manager leading a team of Business Developers and merchandisers and through the following years worked in various commercial roles both in Northern Ireland and then across the whole island, eventually as IOI Sales Director and then IOI Commercial Director.

My current role as Group Cold Drink Director reports into our Group Commercial Director, and my main responsibility is the strategic direction for cold drink equipment and operations across our Hellenic territories, which involves significant travel on a routine basis supporting our countries across the group.

My expectations were to work with one of the biggest brands in the world as part of a global business, in a dynamic environment that would provide me with opportunities to develop and progress my career. Those expectations have been met which is why I am still with the business after over 20 years.

If you want to be successful at Coca‑Cola HBC firstly you need to be able to work within a team and actively contribute, ideally you are passionate about growing our business and helping our customers grow their business.

"My Advice... take ownership of your personal development"

My advice would be to work hard, set yourself some clear goals, stay close to your boss and ensure you have their help and support. Take ownership of your personal development, whether that’s growing within your current role, progressing to more senior roles, or even diversifying to another function. There may also be the opportunity to move to another country in our group or the Coca Cola system. Always remember to build your network both vertically, horizontally and cross functionally, and if you get the opportunity, internationally.

An insatiable curiosity about our business and the FMCG sector is essential Ciara Cashen, Public Affairs & Communication Manager
Ciara's story so far

Public Affairs & Communication Manager
Huntstown, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Favourite Coca‑Cola HBC product: Coke Zero Sugar

 

With seven years’ communications and public affairs experience, I joined the Coca‑Cola system in 2014; working first for the Coca‑Cola Company and then my current position with Coca‑Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland. As Public Affairs and Communications Manager, I strive to build trust in our business and pride in our products.

Prior to Coca‑Cola, I worked for a number of PR consultancies and my experience was predominately in healthcare communications. I managed the reputation and advocated for a number of health charities, pharmaceutical companies and hospitals. I also advised educational institutions, chambers of commerce and industry associations on their communication and crisis management strategies.

I was attracted to the position with Coca‑Cola for its potential to lead the communication of its community initiatives. As a system, Coca‑Cola plays an active role in communities across the country, and it is a rewarding to be tasked with raising awareness and understanding of our programmes in youth development, community wellbeing and environmental stewardship.

Over the last number of years, I’ve worked specifically on our annual grant giving campaign, the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund. In 2016, we donated €130k to community organisations who have ideas to empower young people.

I also lead the Designated Driver campaign, our annual campaign offering free soft drinks to designated drivers to help keep our roads safe and free from alcohol at Christmas time. Other community initiatives include our Coca‑Cola Zero Bikes schemes and the annual Clean Coast programme, supporting coastal communities to keep beaches clean.

Since joining the business, I’ve also welcomed the opportunity to support the communication of the corporate social responsibility initiatives that include our ongoing reformulation programme to reduce average calories per litre in our drinks, as well as our commitment to shaping choice for our consumers with our ‘Hero Zero’ strategy.

Another growing area of focus for the communications team is around sustainability. Coca‑Cola HBC has enviable credentials in this area and has been recognised locally and nationally for its success in reducing its impact on the environment. Most recently Coca‑Cola HBC was acknowledged as the beverage leader in sustainability by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. It is a privilege to work for an organisation that takes such a leadership role in this area, and I take great pride in raising awareness of these successes externally.

The advice I would have for anyone interested in starting or progressing their career at Coca‑Cola HBC, would be to adopt an insatiable curiosity about the business and FMCG sector in which we operate. We work with some of the world’s most popular brands and in a busy and evolving sector - to excel, we need to continually raise the bar, so that we be the best we can be; for our people, our communities and our customers.

 

Never stop learning; opportunities are plentiful but you have to be hungry for them and grasp them, your career is in your hands. Orla Heffernan, HR Business Partner Support Functions
Orla's story so far

HR Business Parnter Support Functions
Huntstown, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Favourite Coca‑Cola HBC product: Fanta

 

Since joining Coca‑Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland in 1992, I have thoroughly enjoyed working a diverse range of roles within Commercial and HR, each of which have delivered great job satisfaction, huge learnings, fantastic people interactions and workplace initiatives. I had qualified before joining Company with a Diploma in International Trade and Marketing from Dublin Institute of Technology hence the earlier stages of my career directed me toward roles within the Commercial field. 

I’ve held the roles of Category Manager, Market Insights Manager, Commercial Project Manager and P.A. to the Commercial Director – a role which arose at a time when I had to curtail my availability to travel due to having two children in close succession.  As my children got older, I arrived at a stage in my career where I needed to decide if I wanted to pursue re-entering the Commercial career ladder or if I wanted to change my career path, I chose the latter and returned to evening education for 3 years whilst working full time.  In 2013, I qualified from National College of Ireland with a CIPD accredited BA in Human Resource Management. In addition, I was the recipient of the Highest Achiever Award for 2013, a huge motivator for kick starting my exciting new career that lay ahead. 

From 2013 to 2015, I held the role of Talent Manager within our HR Function.  My responsibilities included identifying, attracting, developing, motivating and retaining key people within our organisation. Interactions involved working with stakeholders right across the organisation and abroad to develop plans and processes to track and manage organisational employee talent.  During this time, I received recognition at a reception in State Buildings from the Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) with the Irish Government for our active participation within Feeding Ireland’s Future initiative.  In addition, we won the NI CIPD 2015 Award for Employee Engagement.

Since 2015, I have held the role of HR Business Partner.  My responsibilities include career development, succession planning, targeted learning and development programs, performance management, talent reviews, employee engagement, change management, employee relations, diversity and inclusion.

If someone were to ask me what has motivated me to come to work every day wearing a smile for the past 24 years it’s to come to work every day with a hard work mindset with the objective to deliver whilst working harmoniously amongst a hugely talented team of people.  There are lots of ways to keep motivated to work hard and deliver, here are some tips: Utilise time opportunities with your line manager; determine where you are performing well and not so well.  Never stop learning; opportunities are plentiful but you have to be hungry for them and grasp them, your career is in your hands. Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself; the world is too small a place not to.  Network internally; speak with people of all levels across other functions, you’ll be amazed at what you can learn from a conversation and lifelong friendships that can emanate.  Network externally; be the face of CCH in the market, learn from other businesses as to what they are doing well and not so well, what new initiatives are coming down the line and what to watch out for.

I am currently a participant on the talent development programme Fast Forward 3, continuing to learn and further grow my career and aim to qualify in 2017.