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Published date: 12/08/2020 11:36


Keith Ockenden has been appointed CEO of Ireland based, ZEUS Group. After 12 months as Group Managing Director, Keith Ockenden will take up position from the 1st September, responsible for day to day stewardship of group operations.

Zeus was founded in 1998 by owner, Brian O’Sullivan and has grown to become one of the largest independently owned European & International Packaging businesses. With core strengths in Food Service, Industrial, Retail & Agricultural Packaging Solutions, the business operates in Ireland, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Poland, US, Canada, Australia & New Zealand.

Group revenues are expected to exceed €210m during 2020, representing 15% growth on the previous year.

Commenting on the appointment, Brian O’Sullivan says, ‘As our business grows, we are faced with growing complexity, operating across multiple systems, countries and market sectors. The business needs to strengthen areas of communication, operate within a more disciplined structure, drive process improvement, and importantly adapt & evolve our leadership capability, invest in staff development and ensure more accountability.’

‘In order to navigate the next stage of growth, the business needs to look inwardly at our operational infrastructure, unlock greater business efficiencies and become more effective in executing strategy. Being a customer centric organisation, we need our growing scale working harder for our customers!’

‘Keith Ockenden was appointed Group Managing Director in September 2019 with a view to navigating and leading our business through a period of change. The past 12 months has allowed him to focus on integrating our investments in the UK, tackle areas of under-performance, but importantly, he has had time to evaluate, assess and understand our operational capabilities, customer needs, staff and suppliers, learn about products and services. He has been peeling back the layers to gain this insight. After 12 months in position, I believe Keith has bought the desired attitude and approach, demonstrating his skills & leadership qualities, organisational understanding and strategic thinking that I believe is needed for the future of our business. I am delighted to officially hand over the reins to Keith.’

When questioned on Brian’s future role within the organisation, ‘I am not going anywhere, but the deployment of this new structure will allow me more time to focus on the longer term strategic development of our business, identifying new revenue streams and business acquisition opportunities. I will continue to oversee European and International business interests.’

Keith Ockenden says ‘I am delighted and extremely grateful for the opportunity to lead Zeus into the future. The business is in a period of transition as we reorganise and manage change. I am excited about driving future growth opportunities.’

When asked about the Zeus business, Keith says, ‘We have a real ‘Can do’ attitude & culture among our staff, trust and integrity are core to our values. Staff are obsessed about the customer, we have an exceptional loyal following and pride ourselves in understanding customer needs, tailoring credible innovative solutions to those needs. Our foundations have been built upon service, innovation and competing hard within the markets we operate within.’

A new leadership team and board structure has also been announced in line with these changes. During the past 12 months, Zeus integrated six strategic acquisitions across the UK & Ireland, coupled with further investment in their Spanish operations acquiring Plasti-Cart, in the Canary Islands back in January 2020.



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