Icelandic Water Holdings, the bottler of Icelandic Glacial Water today announced that Ragnar Birgisson has been named the company''s new chief executive officer
With this appointment, former CEO, Patrick Racz will now assume the role of chief operating officer of the company.
In his new role as CEO, Ragnar Birgisson will be responsible for fueling the company’s growing distribution throughout the world, taking advantage of the growing interest in the super premium water category, within a world market that is forecast to reach over 217 billion litres by 2009 (Zenith 2005).
Birgisson brings more than three decades of marketing, finance and bottling industry expertise to his new role at Icelandic Water Holdings ehf. . Early in his career, Birgisson served as Managing Director of Sana ehf, an Icelandic brewery which subsequently merged with Sanitas ehf, a bottler and the franchise holder for Pepsi Cola and 7-UP. While as Managing Director at Sanitas ehf, he was the first to launch diet drinks and cans in the Icelandic market and also built a new brewery when strong beer was first allowed in Iceland and subsequently captured the majority of the Icelandic beer market.
He later served as owner and Managing Director for Opal, ehf, an Icelandic confectionary company. From 1996 to 2004, he was Managing Director of Skifan ehf – the largest entertainment (film, music and video games) company in Iceland. Whilst in charge of Skifan, Birgisson built a strong international network of contacts which will be of assistance to the activation of Icelandic Glacial’s marketing plans in the coming months.
Birgisson has an Economics degree from the University of Iceland and received his MBA with a specialty in marketing and finance from the London Business School.
We are thrilled to have Birgisson become part of the Icelandic Water Holdings team during this important time in our organization’s growth around the world," says Ragnar Aðalsteinsson, Chairman of Icelandic Water Holdings ehf. ” His knowledge and track record within our industry make us confident in his ability to manage our organization during this pivotal period in the growth of the Icelandic Glacial brand.” We look forward to continued success and growth with Birgisson at the helm.”
Racz assumes the position of chief operating officer and will continue to oversee plant operations where he has been instrumental in developing the company’s state-of-the-art production facility, gaining Icelandic Glacial the accolade of a 100 percent pass rating from the NSF International. His work in this area will continue as the company enters the next phase of development, building a new high-speed bottling facility planned for early 2007 completion.
In addition, Racz will increase his time spent on sales and marketing operations in the North American Market where tremendous growth is already underway.
Racz commented, “I am very pleased that Ragnar has joined the team as we enter the next phase of this company’s growth. His wealth of experience within the industry will be invaluable as we embark on our ambitious, but very realistic plan