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"In my office is framed the first pay slip, which I received at the age of 16" - Walla! Of money


The man who heads the main company tells in an "executive summary" about himself, and also: what he thinks about recycling plastic bottles and the tax on sugary drinks

"In my office is framed the first payslip, which I received at the age of 16."

He studied religious education, worked vacations at Coca-Cola, served as a combat officer and his father, who worked for the company for 42 years, was excited to hear that he had become CEO. Plastic and the tax on sugary drinks

Liat Ron


Wednesday, 12 January 2022, 14:04 Updated: Thursday, 13 January 2022, 11:40

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: Nir Levinger, 49, CEO of the Central Beverage Company

Who I am

: Determined, a man of results, breathless for tasks, but not very patient. Always looking a step ahead. There is a result, and it is important for me to empower the people who work with me,


: Dad came from an ultra-Orthodox family in Hungary. When World War II broke out, Grandpa was in Siberia and Grandma was sent to Auschwitz, survived the death march In Germany, we got married, had two children, immigrated to Israel when my father was six months old. They came to Kfar Gvirol, today Rehovot, raised chickens and sheep.

My maternal grandparents, who were national religious, came to Israel from Czechoslovakia and Austria after the war, and opened a Jewish food workers' restaurant on Sderot Chen in Tel Aviv.

They later switched to textiles and set up a haute couture factory for women, which was successful for years but lost the war to the Far East and closed.

Mother was born in Tel Aviv. Her

parents met in Bnei Akiva, when she lived in Givatayim and he in Bnei Brak. Mother was a special education teacher in hard schools, Dad worked for 42 years in Coca-Cola, the founding generation.

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Nir Levinger, CEO of the Central Beverage Company (Photo: Reuven Castro)

My childhood

: We are four children and when I turned four we left B.B. to Rishon LeZion. In all my 12 years in schools I studied religious education, from seventh to ninth grade I studied in a yeshiva and at about the age of 16 I switched to state religious education, and studied biology and chemistry, because it interested me more than physics. I played the organ for six years and apart from "Little Jonathan" I know nothing. I also swam in swimming groups.

I spent all my childhood vacations in Coca-Cola, in all sorts of stressful jobs that would be given to children, I worked in the production line and emptied garbage. In my office framed the first pay slip I got at age 16. I grew up into it, and as a small child I would come to work with Dad and travel the country with the movers.


: My wife, a special education teacher in a regular school, we met 30 years ago. I have a very supportive home over the years in my career and my way, and I probably could not have done it without her. She is an amazing mother and a good friend for life.We have two children and we live in Ness Ziona.

"I spent all my childhood vacations in Coca-Cola" (Photo: Reuven Castro)


: After serving in Givati, an officers' course and two years at the JNF (Lebanon Liaison Unit. L.R.), including a year as head of Gabi Ashkenazi's bureau, I graduated and thought of passing the time and making money in Israel or abroad. I started working in filling vending machines in Coca-Cola because it was the most available and when looking for a salesman I offered myself and started working in the field. Dad was working for the company at the time, but we did not meet. He was in operation and I was in the branches of Rishon LeZion and Ashdod and I did not come to the factory almost at all.

Since 1995 I have been in the main company and this is my tenth position in the company. Responsible for the private and organized market, VP of Sales nine years, five years CEO of Sales and Distribution and I am starting my second year as CEO. When I told my father, who was already retired, that I had been selected for the job, the words came out of his mouth. This is not surprising. We are a very emotional family.


: The challenges here do not end there. I switched a lot of roles along the way and the group and company also evolved into new areas: squeezed juices, beer and terra. In today's world, it is precisely experience, specialization and specialization that have weight. In order to grow and develop, I studied a bachelor's degree in business administration at the expense of the company in evening studies and participated in the "Maoz" program.

Certainly I have had suggestions from outside over the years, but I believed in my ability to move forward and make an impact. Today we get tired and wear out fast, I'm probably from a different generation, and I'm not alone. There are a lot of wonderful and committed people who have been working in the company for decades and go a long way together, and I may be the first to make it all the way down, but the organization gives opportunities.

The main company:

I follow all the group's activities in Israel, the production of Coca-Cola, Prigat, Neviot, Tara, everything that is produced in Israel and Restarto, which markets imported deli products.

At the end of the previous year, we changed the management structure of the group to a unified structure according to arrays.

We have built a unified marketing system for the beverage, alcohol and dairy divisions and an operational system that is responsible for the entire process, from production to marketing.

It's a long move that has come to adapt the company to the challenges of the future.

The corona was a particular trigger for the timing of the changes, but it was chosen because it was at the right point for society, so it's good that we did not wait with it for the end of the plague, who knows when that will happen, because we are in a world of uncertainty.

All of this was not accompanied by layoffs or streamlining, but rather an emphasis on changes in managerial aspects.

The corona as a trigger for structural changes in society (Photo: Reuven Castro)


: In 2020 there was a significant drop in sales because the market for restaurants, cinemas, and entertainment venues were closed and there was no increase in the retail chains. About 80% of our sales are in the entertainment market and the organized market. Slowly we started to recover, but everyone who goes to the movies sees that it is not like before and the restaurants have not yet recovered. Part of my view of the epidemic is in maintaining the health of workers. We adhere to capsules to maintain business continuity and production.

Power and predation

: This image is incorrect. We are not a power company, but a service company, reach customers and consumers with courtesy and service and allow retailers to contact us always. We wrap our employees warmly, with high management quality, because we care about them. We give scholarships to employees' children, vacationers and a study fund. We work in very significant areas: beverages, milk and alcohol and we have amazing competitors, companies that compete well and the competition is fierce. We try to bring solutions, brands and excitement.

Import reform

: Imports have always been here. We are a manufacturer that produces in Eretz Israel, most of our factories in the periphery, and we believe in Israeli industry and the Israeli worker. I am not threatened by imports, but a competitor. I'm not afraid because there is always competition. We have never blocked competition, not even from parallel imports, only that the products are legal and not smuggled. I am not in a world of alertness or complacency, but of competition.

Raising prices

: I do not intend to comment on the subject, except for the fact that the one who raised the price of the drinks is the government.

New Deposit Law

: Enters on December 1st.

What is sad is that in the end, citizens, industrialists and food chains did not have time to prepare for the government's decision to extend the law to large bottles as well.

The regulator wants the here and now, with a broad lack of looking ahead, but only fast and fast.

The cages are gone and the machines that are supposed to arrive are gone.

Ten-month assessment time is short at the global level, because such a move is accompanied by information and education.

Exactly the same thing happened in the tax on sugary drinks.

There is a great lack of dialogue between government and industry, a lack of learning from the world and a little patience.

Recycling can be achieved in other ways besides imposing a tax on the bottles.

"There is a great lack of dialogue between the government and industry" (Photo: Reuven Castro)

Tax on sugary drinks

: The issue, to me, is the connection between sugary drinks and diet drinks, which is very problematic, both for diabetics and for people who consume sugar-reduced drinks or diet for other reasons. This is puzzling, because these products were not marked with red stickers, while products that were marked with red, such as chocolate and delicacies were not mused.

I find no logical reason to test products that are not marked with a red sticker. You ask if they were looking for us? In your next section you should ask this question to the person who made the decision. The frustration is the unwillingness to listen, even before the discussion and less whether they accepted or did not accept our opinion.

Prof. Ardon Rubinstein

: The Honorable Professor was pressured into a discussion in the Finance Committee and took advantage of his mistake in a cynical way. He was legally pre-registered, wore the orange ribbon and the committee chairman's lists show who he represents. He is a person with two hearing aids and did not understand what was being said.

What a pity, that because of the commotion they did not listen to what he had to say.

He is a man who is very understanding in the field of obesity and diabetes, and has clearly said that taxation will severely hurt people who suffer from it.

Tax on sugary drinks: "Too bad they did not listen to what Prof. Rubinstein had to say" (Photo: Reuven Castro)

Direct sales site

: We are studying the subject, but we still have no plans ahead.


: Playing doubles tennis when I have time, in the last year I have had less, canceled more than I played, and I run, especially on weekends.

Looking to the future

: I have just started the role and I see myself here, in the organization, to continue to be a leading company and face the challenges along the way, and to grow the principals and managers who work with me.

The future: "I just started the role" (Photo: Reuven Castro)

The full interview with Nir Levinger will be published in the "Business" issue of Maariv, Friday, 14.1

  • Of money


  • Coca-Cola

  • Central Beverage Company

  • Purchase tax

Source: walla

All business articles on 2022-01-13

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