Advertisement

WaterWipes CEO explains the 'phenomenal success story' behind the Irish company

Orla Mitchell has been to Mars and back to end up in her current role as CEO of the Irish-based c...
Newsroom
Newsroom

13.01 20 Mar 2021


Share this article


WaterWipes CEO explains the 'p...

WaterWipes CEO explains the 'phenomenal success story' behind the Irish company

Newsroom
Newsroom

13.01 20 Mar 2021


Share this article


Orla Mitchell has been to Mars and back to end up in her current role as CEO of the Irish-based company WaterWipes.

WaterWipes was founded over a decade ago by Edward McCloskey after his newborn daughter suffered with bad nappy rash and he was "appalled" by many of the components in baby wipes at the time.

Speaking to Down to Business with Bobby Kerr, Ms Mitchell charted her career trajectory over the years.

Advertisement

She finished her Master's at UCD's Smurfit School in 1986, a year where "things weren't great on the employment front".

She was then offered a role in Smurfit's consultancy division, and was then asked to go out on secondment for a year to the Minister for Sport.

Ms Mitchell then set up Marketing People, a specialist marketing recruitment business where her "career aspirations started solidifying" and where she was "bitten by the bug of fast-moving consumer goods".

She decided she wanted to go in this direction and then got her "first break" in the sector from Nestle.

WaterWipes CEO explains the 'phenomenal success story' behind the Irish company

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

  

Ms Mitchell subsequently landed the role of Chief Marketing Officer at Mars.

"It was a big job and to be honest, it was not necessarily ever in the realm of my consciousness, when you start off in your career you don't kind of think that far in advance," she said.

"But I firmly believe that once you're enjoying roles and being given opportunities you just kind of go with it and then there's a little bit of luck as well.

"But Mars was a phenomenal experience, an amazing company, one of the world's largest family-owned companies and it's no accident now I've ended up at WaterWipes, a family-owned company."

Ms Mitchell was then brought in as the Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Wrigley, which had been purchased by Mars but was still run separately, in Chicago in 2013.

She subsequently worked as Global President of the Gum and Mints Global Business unit for Mars Wrigley.

Moving on to WaterWipes, she joined the Irish business as Chief Brand Officer and Board Member in February 2020, progressing to the position as CEO in September.

"It's a phenomenal success story for which I can take very little credit," she added.

Newborn skin is really sensitive and there are a lot of changes coming up. Make sure their skin gets the best care with...

Posted by WaterWipes on Thursday, March 4, 2021

Edward McCloskey's product contains only two ingredients: 99.9% water and a drop of fruit extract to act as a natural skin conditioner.

"He set about creating what is still the world's purest baby wipe," Ms Mitchell explained, and while it didn't happen overnight, the product has since "totally disrupted the category".

"This has been a ten-year journey but in latter years, the business has seen huge traction and our number one market is the US," she said.

"We're very proud to be the only baby wipe used in a lot of neonatal intensive care units because of the efficacy of the product, huge support by healthcare professionals.

"The business is very successful online and it's amazing.

"We're also very proud of the 315 employees, we've 35 nationalities working with the business, 55% of our senior leaders are women, I think they really gravitate towards the brand, and 100% of our product is produced in Ireland which I think is phenomenal."

The company has recently launched 100% biodegradable wipes "which was quite a technical challenge", Ms Mitchell added.

The wipes are compostable within two weeks but the business "still advocates to people to dispose of them in normal waste management".

WaterWipes can be found in over 50 markets around the world and all products are still produced locally in Drogheda.

Main image: File photo by heymattallen from Pixabay

Share this article


Read more about

Baby Wipes Drogheda Mars Orla Mitchell Waterwipes

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

The Hard Shoulder

The Hard Shoulder

16:00-19:00

Share

Up next

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

SPLANC

SPLANC

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-07:00

Share

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

07:00-08:00

Share

THE HOME SHOW WITH SINEAD RYAN

THE HOME SHOW WITH SINEAD RYAN

08:00-09:00

Share

The Anton Savage Show

The Anton Savage Show

09:00-11:00

Share

DOWN TO BUSINESS WITH BOBBY KE...

DOWN TO BUSINESS WITH BOBBY KERR

11:00-13:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

13:00-17:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on