Post Creator: Rosie Bartley

A Refreshing Approach: Designing an Infallible Growth Strategy with Tom Harrington, Primo Water

By ICR | Podcast

Making a decision like transitioning from a successful soda brand into a water company will certainly come with its risks, but it can also open the door for commercial expansion and innovation. Today’s guest was able to make the shift seamless.

On this week’s episode, we get to sit down with Tom Harrington, Chief Executive Officer of Primo Water, which trades under the symbol PRMW. Tom took the post in the beginning of 2019 and prior to that, he served as the CEO of Primo’s North America Business Unit after the acquisition of DS Services in December of 2014.

Before the acquisition, Tom served in various roles with DS Services including CEO, President and COO. Prior to joining DS services, Tom served in various roles with Coca-Cola Enterprises, including VP and General Manager of the New York and Chicago divisions.

Tom talked about the evolution of Primo Water, and the investments they’ve made into developing their service-based model.


  • Tom introduces Primo’s services (2:14)
  • Primo’s business model (3:00)
  • Recurring-revenue business strategy (4:12)
  • How Primo’s business model has changed over time (5:13)
  • E-commerce and technology (6:27)
  • Investments and supply chain optimization (7:35)
  • Water resourcing and environmental concern (9:14)
  • New products and partnerships (10:09)
  • Inflation and economic impact (11:27)
  • How Primo raise their EBITDA margins (13:33)
  • Benefits of being a pure-play water company (14:45)
  • Primo’s differentiation from competitors (15:45)
  • Mergers and acquisitions (16:52)
  • Primo’s growth formula (18:16)
  • The affect of imposing tariffs (20:36)
  • How investors misjudge Primo (22:00)


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