Since 1936, Culligan International has provided better and safer water to improve lives around the world, a mission so ingrained in the company’s culture that it’s constantly finding ways to further its impact.
In 2021, the company announced a merger with Waterlogic Group Holdings to further solidify its reputation as a clean and sustainable water solutions powerhouse. Combined, the two are able to save more than forty billion plastic bottles annually through sustainable water filtration, purification, and treatment solutions, as well as to accelerate the delivery of water solutions to more than one hundred million consumers worldwide.
The transaction was completed in November 2022, allowing Culligan to diversify its product range and increase its global reach. In a press announcement, Culligan CEO Scott Clawson said the move is a vital step in the company’s evolution.
“Our focus has been on driving innovation, delivering the best consumer experience, and providing solutions that are both good for people and the planet, while also moving the market forward,” Clawson said. “Together with the Waterlogic team, we believe we can drive the future of clean and sustainable drinking water solutions globally and serve a broader group of customers in the $250 billion global consumer water market.”
Jeremy Ben-David, Waterlogic’s founder and group CEO said the partnership was a great match due to both companies’ similar missions. Established in 1992, Waterlogic has been a designer, manufacturer, distributor and service provider of drinking water dispensers with a presence in more than seventy countries with about fifty million people using its dispensers every day.
“Our deep, mutual belief that we have the ability and responsibility to contribute positively to the Earth guides our decisions and is engrained in our operations,” Ben-David said in a press statement.
At the heart of the partnership and Culligan’s other moves is a drive to innovate, including on the information technology front. That’s where Tony Bender, senior vice president (SVP) and chief information officer (CIO), comes in. In his global role, he’s responsible for all information technology at Culligan. He and his team worked to combine operations and systems amid the Waterlogic acquisition in addition to spearheading cloud migration and cybersecurity efforts.
There’s no shortage of work for the global tech team that serves a company handling about thirty acquisitions a year. Harnessing acquisitions and managing high organic and inorganic growth is a challenge. But Bender navigates it with a “player-coach” leadership style. He isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty to drive initiatives while offering support to his team. He tends to be out in the field a lot, meeting with colleagues and showing them that he’s accessible.
The CIO advises other executives to build strong relationships with business partners and to understand what’s important to them to drive value. He also believes leaders should spend a lot of time mentoring and coaching the team to create a sense of urgency within them. Leaders should constantly examine what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and whether they’re focused on the right things, Bender recommends.
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