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Trond Williksen takes over as Benchmark chief executive in June. Photo: Kyst.no.
Trond Williksen takes over as Benchmark chief executive in June. Photo: Kyst.no.

Former SalMar chief executive Trond Williksen has been appointed as the new CEO of UK-based aquaculture genetics, health and advanced nutrition company Benchmark Holdings.

He will begin his new role on June 1, taking over from executive chairman Peter George, who will revert to his former position as non-executive chairman.

Williksen is highly experienced in the international aquaculture and seafood industries, having held senior executive positions in the sector for over 20 years.

Most recently he was CEO of SalMar, co-owner of Scottish Sea Farms and one of the world's largest producers of farmed salmon.

Six years at AKVA

Prior to that role he was chief executive of aquaculture technology and service provider AKVA group ASA for six years. He previously held a number of senior roles in Aker ASA’s Seafoods, Ocean Harvest and BioMarine divisions.

Williksen has also held a number of advisory and non-executive director roles in the industry including as chairman of the Research Council of Norway, Oceans Portfolio; chairman of net maker Mørenot Group; chairman of biomarine company Calanus AS; and board member of SinkabergHansen AS, a Norwegian integrated aquaculture company.

Williksen said: “I am very pleased to have the opportunity to join Benchmark, a leading provider of sustainable solutions to the global aquaculture industry.

“Benchmark is strategically well positioned within a sustainable industry that holds vast opportunities and potentials for the future. I am looking forward to joining a very competent team, positioning and executing on a strategy for profitability and growth in the future.”

Proven experience

Peter George said: “I am delighted to welcome Trond to Benchmark. He brings deep, relevant aquaculture expertise and has proven operational, strategic, M&A, and managerial experience spanning both producers and technology providers in the industry.

“I am confident that under his leadership and with his industry expertise, Benchmark will emerge from the current more difficult environment to realise its potential to become a profitable leading provider of sustainable solutions to the global aquaculture industry.”