Linda Litlekalsøy Aase will take the helm at SalMar. Photo: Private.

SalMar announces new CEO as Witzøe steps back

Norwegian salmon heavyweight SalMar has announced the appointment of a new chief executive, Linda Litlekalsøy Aase. She will take over from Gustav Witzøe no later than June 1.

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Aase comes from the position of executive vice president responsible for the business area electrification, maintenance and modifications in offshore engineering giant Aker Solutions.

SalMar already has close links with Aker through SalMar Aker Ocean, a company it formed with Aker to develop offshore salmon farming.

Gustav Witzøe has said he is willing to join the board.

Board position

Witzøe, 68, whose family owns just over half of SalMar, has said he is willing to be nominated to SalMar’s board after stepping down as CEO.

Aase has over 20 years of industrial experience, a Master of Science degree in materials technology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and has studied business economics and management at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH). She has been a board member of SalMar ASA since June 2020.

“I am humble and have enormous respect for the fantastic job Gustav Witzøe and his 1,800 skilled employees do, and I look forward to leading the SalMar team further,” said Aase.

‘Unique and tireless efforts’

SalMar board chairman Leif Inge Nordhammer emphasised the new CEO’s experience from industries other than aquaculture as particularly relevant.

“SalMar has developed a strong operational organisation with a focus on biology and cost efficiency throughout the value chain, and we intend to develop this further with Linda at the helm. Linda’s experience from other industries will also be very relevant for the further development of SalMar,” said Nordhammer.

“On behalf of all of us at SalMar, I would also like to thank Gustav for his enormous, unique, and tireless efforts for SalMar through 31 years.”

NTS process

Referring to SalMar’s current intention to increase its annual volume by around 100,000 tonnes by buying salmon farmer NTS ASA, Nordhammer added: “Without Gustav’s extensive knowledge and innovative power, SalMar would not have been the company it is today. SalMar will continue to use Gustav’s experience and expertise, and he will, among other things, actively contribute in the NTS process.”

Witzøe said: “I am very proud of what SalMar has become. We are a unique team of skilled employees in all parts of the company. We have important partners among the owners, in the private business sector, in academia and among the authorities who share our ambitions for the Norwegian aquaculture industry.

“I am looking forward to everything we will continue to create, and I’m glad that Linda has taken on the task as team captain.”

SalMar and another Norwegian salmon farmer, Lerøy, each own 50% of Scotland’s second largest salmon farmer Scottish Sea Farms, and Witzøe and Nordhammer are both directors of Scottish Sea Farms Ltd.