Linda Aase has resigned from her role as chief executive of SalMar. She started the job in May.

SalMar chief executive Linda Aase steps down

Successor Frode Arntsen is recruited from within company's executive stable

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Linda Aase, chief executive of Norway’s second largest salmon farmer, SalMar, has resigned after just a few months at the helm, the company announced today.

Asse, who started as CEO on May 9, will be replaced by Frode Arntsen, 52, who has been with SalMar since 2017 as chief operating officer for sales and industry.

He has worked in the seafood industry since 2000 and has previously held several management positions in a wide range of seafood companies.

Solid performance

“SalMar is one of the leading and most efficient salmon producers in the world. The company has delivered a solid operational performance during Aase’s tenure as CEO,” said board chairman Gustav Witzøe. “We thank Aase for her time and effort in SalMar.

“I would like to express my personal gratitude to Aase for her effort as CEO.

“At the same time, I am pleased that we have found an experienced replacement. I am comfortable that Frode Arntsen will continue to safeguard and develop SalMar as a leading supplier of salmon produce.”

Frode Arntsen: "The task will be to ensure that the strong development in SalMar continues."

Highly motivated

Arntsen said: “I am highly motivated and ready to take on the task of leading one of the world's best aquaculture companies. The task will be to ensure that the strong development in SalMar continues. We are a dedicated and passionate team with more than 1,900 competent employees who work every day to deliver healthy and sustainable seafood to the whole world, so I am looking forward to this.”

SalMar, which co-owns Scottish Sea Farms with fellow Norwegian fish farmer Lerøy, harvested 170,500 gutted weight tonnes of salmon in Norway last year, along with volume in Iceland.

Earlier this year it made a successful offer for a majority of shares in fish farming and boat services company NTS ASA, but that transaction has not yet been completed.

Because most of its farming is carried out in Norway, it will also be one of the biggest losers if the government imposes a planned 40% resource tax on salmonid farmers next year. That has been reflected in the company’s share price, which plunged after the government announced the tax plan last month. On Monday, September 26, two days before the announcement, SalMar shares were worth US$13.15. By Friday of the same week they had fallen to $8.28, and at close of trading last Friday stood at $7.38.

Women's Board award

Just last week Aase was named winner of the Norway Women’s Board Award 2022, which spotlights competent, female board chair candidates in order to show election committees and other relevant stakeholders that the pool of female candidates ready to take chair responsibility may be larger than they think.

The award was presented by former Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who said Aase was a mature and reflective leader able to make strategic and operational considerations, had considerable operational experience from expert companies in competitive markets, and was an inclusive team leader who sees others, gives trust and creates security.

Skilled leader

Commenting on the award on Aase’s LinkedIn page, Atle Eide, chair of SalMar Aker Ocean that is developing offshore fish farming, wrote: “I had the pleasure of sitting with Linda on the Salmar ASA board and now on the Salmar Aker Ocean board and others have been impressed. Many, including me, consider you to be one of Norway’s most skilled industry leaders.

“You could lead any of Norway’s major companies, but you chose SalMar for your first CEO role. They now benefit from your great strategic and operational expertise as well as your management experience and not least your integrity. Congratulations on the award Linda. There are probably many companies that want you as chairman in the future.”