DS Waters of America, Inc. recently announced the retirement of its chief executive officer, Dillon Schickli, and that its board of directors has named Tom Harrington to serve as the company's new chief executive officer, effective immediately. Harrington previously served as the company's president and chief operating officer; his new role combines the previously divided roles of president and chief executive officer.
Schickli first joined DS Waters in 2005 as co-chief executive officer and board member, and under his leadership the company quickly saw significant improvements in financial performance, customer service and operating efficiency. According to the release, in 2012, under the guidance of both Schickli and Harrington, DS Waters achieved its strongest net customer growth in over a decade and had much improved year-over-year financial performance, including record revenue. "We are now leading the HOD water industry in growth and are a major player in the office coffee service and filtration businesses," Schickli said, in a prepared statement. "I believe that our 2013 prospects for further gains in customer growth and financial performance are great, and I expect the Company will exceed its goals for financial performance."
Harrington's contributions to the company's strong 2012 performance include both leading the acquisition and integration of the Standard Coffee Service Company and executing DS Waters' expanded strategy to become a leading direct-to-consumer beverage services provider. "I can think of no one more deserving or capable of taking over leadership of DS Waters," Schickli stated. "Knowing that the company will be in good hands under the leadership of Tom and the rest of our experienced management team has made my decision to retire much easier."
Harrington brings 27 years of beverage industry experience to his new role as the company's chief executive, including nine years with DS Waters. After joining the company in 2004 as senior vice president of the central division, Harrington later served as western division president in 2005 and was promoted to chief operating officer in 2008 and president in 2011. Prior to joining DS Waters, Harrington was in the carbonated soft drink industry where he held various roles within Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc. and Coca-Cola North America, including vice president and general manager of Coca-Cola Enterprises in both the New York and Chicago divisions.
Harrington said, "I would like to thank Dillon for his contributions and service to DS Waters, and wish him congratulations on his retirement. DS is one of the service industry's great companies, with a long history of exceptional customer service and strong positions in each of its key lines of business, delivered from a platform that provides exciting opportunities for growth. I look forward to continue working with our talented team of associates as we build upon our successes and continue to execute our plans for growth."