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Former PepsiCo Australia CEO named top exec at Tampa water company

  • By Mark Gordon
  • | 5:00 a.m. November 16, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Robbert Rietbroek
Robbert Rietbroek
Courtesy image
  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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Food and beverage executive Robbert Rietbroek, whose career includes stints overseeing Quaker Foods North America and PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand, has been named CEO of Tampa-based Primo Water Corp. 

Primo, which sells more than 1 billion gallons of water a year through brands including AquaTerra, PureFlo and Mountain Valley Spring Water, had been searching for a CEO since May. That’s when CEO Tom Harrington announced his retirement, effective Dec. 31.  

Rietbroek, according to a statement released after the market closed Wednesday and his LinkedIn profile. has more than 25 years of experience at Fortune 500 companies. His career stints include:

  • Five years as president and general manager for Quaker Foods North America, based in Chicago.
  • CEO and general manager for PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand for 2.5 years. 
  • CEO of Kimberly-Clark Australia and New Zealand for two years; vice president and global sector leader of baby and child care at Kimberly-Clark for one year, based in Texas. 
  • Nearly 16 years at Procter & Gamble in a variety of management and marketing roles in North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

The CEO appointment, effective Jan. 1, 2024, caps a busy year for Primo, which reported $2.07 billion in revenue in 2022.

In the spring, Los Angeles investment firm Legion Partners Asset Management LLC went public with concerns about the company’s stock and financial performance, calling for changes to the board, among other requests. That led to several months of back-and-forth statements and legal action.  

More recently, the company sold a significant part of its international operations to Culligan International for $575 million.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to lead Primo Water and its talented team of associates into the future," Rietbroek says in the statement. "As CEO, I look forward to meeting the needs of our customers and supporting our dedicated associates as we deliver on our strategic priorities, and drive both long-term growth and value creation for our shareowners.” 

"Robbert has a strong track record of execution, and the Board looks forward to working with him to build on our momentum as well as to help guide Primo Water's ongoing transformation into a leading pure-play water company in North America,” Primo Chairman Jerry Fowden adds in the release. 



Mark Gordon

Mark Gordon is the managing editor of the Business Observer. He has worked for the Business Observer since 2005. He previously worked for newspapers and magazines in upstate New York, suburban Philadelphia and Jacksonville.

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