Pedro Courard will join Atlantic Sapphire in August.

Atlantic Sapphire names new chief executive

Salmon farmer raids Cermaq again to complete ‘most experienced team in land-based sector’


Florida land-based salmon farmer Atlantic Sapphire has appointed Cermaq Chile managing director Pedro Courard as its new chief executive.

Courard, who will take on the role from CEO and co-founder Johan Andreassen on August 1, is the second Cermaq executive to join the company this month following the appointment of Cermaq’s global head of finance, Gunnar Aasbo-Skinderhaug, as Atlantic Sapphire’s new chief financial officer and deputy chief executive.

Pedro Courard is an industrial engineer with a Master’s in Business Administration. He has been involved in the salmon industry in Chile for over 25 years, holding different management positions, most of them related to production and operation.

During the last 15 years he has held management positions in different companies; he was the managing director of Ocea Chile (today Scale), farming director in Multi X and, since 2022, the MD of Cermaq Chile, one of the country’s top three salmon producers.

In Cermaq, Courard has been part of the team that led the successful turnaround process of the business.

Andreassen said: “I am very pleased that after a long and thorough process Pedro Courard has been selected as my successor.

“Pedro has a strong operational track record from the Chilean salmon industry and I am convinced that he will be a good match to lead the Miami operations and take the company to operational excellence in Phase 1 and beyond.

“The strategic position of Atlantic Sapphire is stronger today than ever, being the sole land-based salmon producer at scale in the vast and growing US market with a unique location that enables the company to grow its production to unmatched scale, sustainably.”

Andreassen will remain in the CEO role until Courard has relocated to Florida and will also stay in the company for a period thereafter to secure a seamless transition.

Courard said: “I am extremely excited, and I feel honoured to have been selected to lead the next steps of the largest land-based production project in the world, with all the opportunities and challenges it involves for me on a personal level. I’m convinced that land-based salmon farming has the potential to disrupt the aquaculture industry and solve many of the challenges that global protein production faces today.”

Atlantic Sapphire board chairman Kenneth J Andersen said Courard’s addition made the management team complete, and the most experienced in the land-based salmon farming industry.

“Pedro’s expertise and leadership will be crucial on our path towards operational excellence and profitability in our current operations, as well as laying the ground for further growth investments.”

The board intends to grant Courard an option package that consists of 1.4 million share options (the equivalent of approximately 1.25% of the outstanding shares in the company following a proposed reverse share split) with a four-year vesting period.

Phase 1 of Atlantic Sapphire’s Bluehouse facility at Homestead, Miami-Dade County, has a capacity to produce 10,000 tonnes of Atlantic salmon annually, although it has yet to achieve steady state production at that rate.

A planned second phase will take capacity to 25,000 tonnes.