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Irish CEO wins European Industry Leader Award

Posted on: 04 Jun 2024

Brian Donaldson, CEO of The Maxol Group, has been selected from sectoral leaders across Europe and was today announced as 2024 NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) European Convenience Industry Leader. Brian has been invited to Barcelona where he will be presented with his award this week at the NACS Convenience Summit Europe.


Established by William McMullan in 1920, Maxol is a 104-year-old company and the largest family-owned convenience forecourt retailer in Ireland. With a network of 242 branded service stations, Maxol is one of the most recognised fuel brands in Ireland.


“I am honoured to receive this recognition and award from my peers. This recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire Maxol team and support of the McMullan family. Over the past decade, our collective efforts have driven the success and innovation that define our company today. I am proud of what we have achieved, and this award inspires us to continue our journey." said Brian.


Brian joined Maxol Oil Limited in September 1986 as a graduate trainee and played a key role in the development of Maxol's retail network in Northern Ireland. He advanced through various positions, becoming an Area Manager, then Retail Manager, and was appointed General Sales Manager for Northern Ireland in 1995. In 2002, Brian became General Manager of Marketing and Retail at The Maxol Group and was responsible for expanding the retail network, maximising non-fuel income streams, developing food partner alliances with Mace/Spar and coordinating its marketing, sponsorship and PR activities throughout Ireland.


From 2012, Brian served as Chief Operating Officer, and in 2016, he was appointed CEO. Under his leadership, he has overseen a transformative strategy, repositioning Maxol as an innovative convenience led brand. This includes the introduction of Maxol’s own convenience concept in the Republic of Ireland with proprietary brands, ROSA coffee, Maxol Deli and private label range. 


Brian currently sits on the CBI NI Council and recently became chair of CBI NI’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Working Group, which is driving significant improvements around charge-point provision across Northern Ireland.


Maxol has received accolades from NACS over the years for its innovative approach to convenience retail and exceptional store formats. Most recently, the Maxol Ballycoolin in Dublin, Ireland, won the 2022 NACS European Convenience Retailer of the Year Award, and the Maxol Newbridge in County Kildare won the 2021 NACS European Convenience Retail Best of the Best Store Award.


“Brian has done an amazing job of transforming the company from one that is fuel based to one that is food based. As the industry continues to along this path, this is a model to both study and celebrate,” said NACS President and CEO Henry Armour.