Business Franchise Australia



The world’s largest franchise pool service brand, Poolwerx, has made known its commitment to ongoing innovation and its entrepreneurial culture with the appointment of its first Chief Innovation Officer.

Shannon O’Brien is joining the Poolwerx’ senior leadership team in the newly created role to manage and grow the business’ innovation pipeline across new and existing products, services and processes, fasttrack the adoption of new systems across the network and further bring the brand onto the global stage.

The new role comes off the back of the franchise’s success through COVID-19, with sales jumping nearly 15 per cent year on year and 13 new store openings in a matter of months.

O’Brien brings more than a decade of experience in digital transformation and business innovation with roles in New York, London, Sydney and Brisbane at Deloitte Digital, Grey London and Mediabrands. He has worked for the likes of P&G, Volvo, GSK, Bank of America and the European insurer AXA.

He will be based in New York, maintaining the global reach of the business and ensuring the impacts of innovation are felt by franchise partners internationally across the US, NZ and Australia.

Poolwerx CEO John O’Brien said this key appointment would help deliver innovation across every single business unit to help Poolwerx maintain its competitive edge.

“Since our inception, a key part of our ongoing growth is to constantly evolve and develop new innovations and initiatives,” he said. “Shannon’s commitment to impactful change and continuous improvement will be a great asset to the business as we navigate continual changes with agile responses to new opportunities.”

Russell Inserra is also joining Poolwerx as the business’ first Chief Technology Officer to build the brand’s technology infrastructure and enhance products and services to best anticipate changing client needs.

Inserra brings more than 20 years corporate experience, with executive roles across finance, operations, sales and marketing for brands including Ready Plan retail insurance products and Hannan Group within Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

“Technology is a key innovation enabler across products, services and operations for Poolwerx. The last five years have seen us build a robust technology infrastructure to meet the changing consumer needs and ensure we provide our franchise partners with a world-class platform that helps them automate their business. Our focus on technology is also a key motivating factor for existing business owners to convert to our award-winning franchise model,” said “O’Brien.