Operations Director

Date: 09-May-2021

Location: Mitchelstown, Ireland

Company: Ornua Co-operative Limited

Ornua is a dairy co-operative which sells dairy products on behalf of its Member Co-ops; Ireland’s dairy processors and, in turn, Irish dairy farmers. It is Ireland’s largest exporter of Irish dairy products, exporting to 110 countries worldwide. Headquartered in Dublin, it has annualised sales of over €2.3 billion and a global team of 2,400 employees. Ornua operates from 10 business units worldwide, including 13 production facilities, and has sales and marketing teams working in-market across all four corners of the globe.


The Group is structured across two divisions: Ornua Foods and Ornua Ingredients.


Ornua Foods is responsible for the marketing and sales of Ornua’s consumer brands including Kerrygold, Dubliner, Pilgrims Choice, Forto and BEO. Markets are served by production facilities and in-market sales and marketing teams in Africa, Asia, Germany, Ireland, the UK, the rest of Europe, the Middle East and the US.


Ornua Ingredients is responsible for the procurement of Irish and non-Irish dairy products and for the sale of dairy ingredients to food manufacturing and foodservice customers across the world. Ornua Ingredients is also responsible for managing volatility through de-risking and trading strategies. The business is supported by production facilities in Saudi Arabia, Spain, the UK, the US and by in-market teams in Africa and the Middle East.


Growth for Good

Ornua is the home of Irish dairy. Our cooperative ethos is at the heart of who we are and how we do business.  Our global success would not be possible without the close collaboration, care, and commitment of our 2,400 strong team.  Ornua cares about building sustainable livelihoods for all our people, who in turn care about driving sustainable profits for our co-op members and the Irish dairy farming families we proudly represent. 


Ornua 2025 is our strategic plan that will help realise our vision for growth in the next five years. It outlines what we will do well, what we will do with the profits we generate, and what additional services we will provide to our members. We will be guided by 3 guiding principles; focus, simplicity and adding value to our volume and we will clearly define what market we will play in.


Together, we will grow for good – creating value for our Irish farming families and for our 2,400 strong, committed, and proud global team.


Kerrygold Park is Ornua’s state of the art manufacturing facility and centre of excellence for the Kerrygold Brand.  The role is a member of the Kerrygold Park senior leadership team responsible for the site’s overall business performance.



  • Responsible for the development and execution of the site’s operations strategy in collaboration with the site Leadership team
  • Translating the business strategy into defined operational plans and ensuring that these are clearly communicated, measured, and achieved at all levels.
  • Lead the Operations Team to develop and implement plans that drive safety, quality, customer satisfaction, growth, and operational excellence.
  • Deliver relevant capital budget and expenditure in line with plan.
  • Responsible for the preparation and management of annual operations financial budgets.
  • Ensure the site manufactures output targets in line with customer demand, that product produced is of highest quality and is aligned to a customer focused, compliant and cost-effective supply chain.
  • Drive a culture across site that promotes and maintains a safe and healthy workplace for employees, ensuring that all Health & Safety procedures are always adhered to and that all legislative requirements are adhered to.
  • Ensure that the quality standards are always adhered to and that the site manufactures products that conform to all safety, functional and regulatory requirements.
  • Support and facilitate a continuous improvement culture via structured improvement initiatives.
  • Establish and maintain appropriate systems for measuring necessary aspects of operational performance.
  • Drive year over year cost and efficiency improvements by continuously evaluating and making necessary changes to maximise efficiencies.
  • Lead the operations Business Continuity plans and crises management, ensuring that plans are reviewed and tested regularly.
  • Promote a culture of inclusiveness, teamwork and cooperation that allows the Ornua values to thrive and prosper throughout the organisation.
  • Attract, lead, retain and develop a best in class Operations Team.
  • Focus on the continued development of people, ensuring that robust and well-developed succession plans are in place for critical positions.
  • Lead and drive employee engagement across the Operations Team ensuring alignment with the overall site engagement strategy. 
  • To collaborate with internal teams and functions as necessary to deliver profit and service targets.
  • Drive and support organization change management programs.
  • To collaborate and be a part of the Global Operations Team as appropriate to ensure consistency of practices, share knowledge and improve decision-making.




  • Ability to drive performance, seeking root cause to business problems and design and deliver practical solutions to resolve.
  • Bring a sense of urgency to situations, demonstrate an active approach, be willing to get involved in order to increase the pace and achieve goals and objectives.
  • Drive change through personal actions, inspiring others to do the same.
  • Remain rational when dealing with others, work within organisational requirements, be systematic and factual when dealing with colleagues and handle conflict with logic until a solution becomes achievable
  • A strong role model of the Ornua values and behaviours – with heart, with thought, with vision and with drive.
  • RIGOUR: Ensure excellence in own work applies effective professional skill, analysis and decision making, and planning and reviewing.
  • FORWARD LOOKING: Leads others through change and contributes to competitive challenges and functional strategy plans.
  • OWNERSHIP: Makes decisions about sustainable growth and/or manages performance and ensures that quality and delivery of others’ work; rewards and recognises success.
  • WORKING TOGETHER: Creates and reinforces a collaborative culture across the business.



  • 10+ years of operations management experience, together with significant commercial and technical exposure.
  • Experience of successfully leading within an operational environment.
  • Possess strong leadership, communication, planning, people leadership and organising skills.
  • Experience of budgetary processes, cost centre ownership and cost control.
  • Have a thorough understanding of all aspects of Operations and Supply Chain management.
  • Demonstrate high levels of commercial acumen and a strong desire to understand and deliver to customer requirements.
  • Demonstrate a high degree of personal integrity and professionalism.
  • Evidence of working collaboratively within complex environments, prioritising team wins over personal gains.
  • Exposure to and knowledge of Operational Excellence techniques.



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