Orkla's Board of Directors has appointed Bjørn M. Wiggen (50), President and CEO of Sapa, as President and CEO of Orkla to succeed Dag J. Opedal. Mr Wiggen will take up his new position today.
"The Board of Directors is convinced that Bjørn M. Wiggen is eminently qualified to head Orkla's further development effectively and in the best interests of shareholders and employees. His ability to execute plans, track record and broad international experience of leadership within and outside Orkla were decisive factors in this appointment," says Board Chairman Stein Erik Hagen.
"Orkla is a very exciting company to head. I have good, strong feelings for this Group," affirms Bjørn M. Wiggen.
"Orkla will remain a diversified portfolio company. I will continue to build on Orkla's strong positions and competencies, but it is also important to prioritise resources so as to maximise Orkla's ability to create long-term value for its shareholders. There are good growth opportunities in markets such as those in which Orkla Brands and Sapa operate, and we see particular potential for us in Asia. We will concentrate the Group's activities on a smaller number of areas in the time to come, and we will seek to reduce our exposure to solar energy over time," declares Wiggen.
"Bjørn knows Orkla well from many different angles. He has demonstrated an ability to implement demanding change processes, such as the sale of Orkla Media and Elkem's energy operations. He has developed Sapa into a leading global company by means of operational improvements, the swap with Alcoa and the acquisition of Indalex," says Hagen.
"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dag J. Opedal for his comprehensive efforts and more than 20 years of contributions to the Group's development and growth," says Hagen.
The current head of Sapa's operations in North America, Timothy R. J. Stubbs (43), will replace Mr Wiggen as CEO of Sapa. Mr Stubbs will be a member of Orkla's Group Executive Board.
Bjørn M. Wiggen has a degree (siv.økonom) from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (NHH). He was CEO of Pripps Breweries in Sweden (1996-1998) and Ringnes (1998-2001), after which he held key positions at Carlsberg Breweries from 2001 to 2004, including responsibility for Carlsberg's breweries in Central and Eastern Europe. Mr Wiggen was CEO of Orkla Media/Mecom Europe (2005-2007), Elkem (2008) and Sapa (from 2009).
Oslo, 8 September 2010
Chairman of the Board Stein Erik Hagen, +47 24 13 30 11, email@example.com
CEO Bjørn Wiggen, +47 22 54 45 38
SVP Communications Ole Kristian Lunde, Tel.: +47-2254 4431
SVP Investor Relations Rune Helland, Tel.: +47-2254 4411