Poolwerx Appoints First Chief Innovation Officer


Poolwerx has appointed a chief innovation officer. Shannon O’Brien joins the Poolwerx senior leadership team in a newly-created role to define the company’s innovation pipeline and build upon the company’s rapid U.S. expansion.

O’Brien, the son of Poolwerx CEO and founder John O’Brien, will be based in New York. He brings a global perspective, having had roles in London, Sydney and Brisbane at Deloitte Digital, Grey London and Mediabrands. In addition, the young O’Brien has consulted with a vast array of clients, including Procter & Gamble, Volvo, GlaxoSmithKline, Bank of America and the European insurer AXA.

“Since founding Poolwerx, a key part of our ongoing growth is to constantly evolve and invest in innovation. This ensures we stay ahead of our competitors and honor our key values like ‘dare to succeed’ and ‘find the better way,” says John O’Brien. “Our approach is about anticipating what our clients need and being nimble enough to deliver when it matters. This methodology proved invaluable in 2020 when the pandemic struck, and we were able to provide more online services and support our franchise partners remotely without disrupting our business.”

O’Brien has been tasked with expanding the global reach of the business through innovation across internal processes, client services and product development. He leads the continued adoption and advancement of the company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. The rollout of the Poolwerx ERP system enables real-time consumer data capture and learnings across three global markets — the U.S., Australia and New Zealand — and focuses on improving the experience for both clients and franchise partners.

“I’ll be the first to admit, I never thought I’d find myself working for the pool business my father built over 25 years ago,” says Shannon O’Brien. “After working with some of the most innovative Fortune 500 companies across New York and London as an innovation consultant, I was pleasantly surprised by the immense opportunity at Poolwerx. It will be an exciting ride shaping the future of not only Poolwerx, but the industry as a whole; it is ripe for disruption.”

O’Brien’s new role complements Russell Inserra who joined Poolwerx as the business’ first chief technology officer to build the brand’s technology infrastructure and enhance products and services to best anticipate changing client needs.

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