Ivan Vindheim, who has been Mowi’s chief financial officer since 2012, takes over the top job from today. Mowi said Aarskog had decided to step down after almost 10 years.
Aarskog last week travelled to Newfoundland in Canada following the death of 2.6 million fish because of unusually high sea temperatures, and publicly apologised to the province’s government for the incident and a failure to inform authorities about the full extent of the die-off.
‘A true salmon farmer’
But there was no mention of the loss in a statement by Mowi today, in which chairman Ole-Eirik Lerøy praised Aarskog’s achievements.
“Alf-Helge has transformed Mowi to a leading product-driven seafood company, with industry leading positions in genetics, feed, farming, sales and consumer products,” said Lerøy.
“The strategic choices made over the years have turned Mowi into a strong company with a focus on developing the salmon category. Aarskog is a true salmon farmer, and he has spread enthusiasm and passion for salmon throughout our global organisation.”
Lerøy said Mowi had conducted a “thorough recruitment process” before choosing Vindheim. “Ivan has a strong commercial track-record and has the best qualifications for delivering on our corporate strategy. He also represents continuity.”
Vindheim has extensive experience from the seafood industry and has held various executive positions including being the CFO of Lerøy Seafood.
“I am honoured to be given the opportunity to lead Mowi together with more than 14,500 highly competent colleagues. It is with humbleness I take on this task,” said Vindheim in Mowi’s statement.
He added: “The Board’s strategy for Mowi of being a leading integrated seafood provider remains unchanged, and together with the rest of the organisation I look forward to continuing to make Mowi a stronger company and execute on our strategy. Alf-Helge has been a great leader and colleague over the years, and I would also like to take the opportunity to thank him for making such a valuable contribution.”
Mowi said Aarskog had been instrumental in positioning Mowi as the world’s leading seafood company. Key achievements during his leadership included the creation of Mowi’s own fish feed operations, significant growth in value-added processing, substantial farming volume growth and most recently the launch of the company’s branding strategy. During this period, Mowi had delivered “stellar” shareholder returns.
“I am very pleased that Ivan takes over the helm and I would like to congratulate the Board on making an excellent hire,” said Aarskog.
“The recruitment of an internal candidate also ensures continuity and should reassure everyone associated with the company that the business is in the most capable hands.”
Group accounting director Kristian Ellingsen has been appointed new CFO of Mowi. Ellingsen has been in his current role at Mowi for four years, and is a former director in PwC, where he worked for almost 10 years.