The tasks of the Board of Directors are laid down in the Rules of Procedure for the Board of Directors, which govern the Board’s responsibilities and duties and the administrative procedures of the Board, including which matters are subject to Board consideration and rules for convening and holding meetings.
The Board’s Rules of Procedures also contain rules regarding the general manager’s duty to inform the Board about important matters, and to ensure that Board decisions are implemented. There are also provisions intended to ensure that company employees and other parties involved are adequately informed of Board decisions, and see to it that the guidelines for preparing matters for Board consideration are followed. Other instructions to the Board and clarification of its duties, authorisations and responsibilities in respect of the general management are provided through routine communication.
The Board of Directors adopts an annual meeting and activity plan that covers strategic planning, business issues and oversight activities. In 2017, seven meetings and four extraordinary meetings were held in accordance with the Boards’s activity plan. One of the meetings held over two days, addressed strategic issues. In addition, three items were dealt with in writing. The Board dealt with a total of 88 items. The content of the Board’s work is discussed in further detail in the Directors’ Report.
Board matters are prepared by the general manager and the Corporate Secretariat in consultation with the Board Chair. The Rules of Procedure for the Board of Directors contain provisions regarding procedural rules in connection with disqualification, joint investments and parallel investments. This is described in further detail under point 4 “Equal treatment of shareholders and transactions with related parties”. The Board of Directors has established two permanent Board Committees, which are described in further detail below. These committees do not make decisions, but supervise the work of the company management on behalf of the Board and prepare matters for Board consideration within their specialised areas. In this preparatory process, the committees have the opportunity to draw on company resources, and to seek advice and recommendations from sources outside the company.
The Compensation Committee is chaired by the Deputy Chair of the Board of Directors, Grace Reksten Skaugen, and its other members are Stein Erik Hagen and Terje Utstrand. The Group Director HR is the committee secretary. The composition of the committee meets the requirements of the Norwegian Code of Practice for Corporate Governance as regards independence, and all the committee members are considered to be independent of executive management. The mandate of the committee is set out in the Rules of Procedure for the Board of Directors and in brief is as follows:
The Audit Committee is chaired by Nils K. Selte, and the other members are Ingrid Jonasson Blank and Sverre Josvanger. The Chief Internal Auditor is the secretary of the Audit Committee. The composition of the committee meets the requirements of the Norwegian Code of Practice for Corporate Governance as regards independence and competence. The Nomination Committee’s recommendation of candidates for election to the Board also contains information as to which Board members satisfy the requirements as regards independence and competence to sit on the Audit Committee. The committee’s mandate is set out in the Board’s Rules of Procedure and in brief is as follows:
Each year, the Board of Directors carries out an evaluation of its own activities and competence, and discusses improvements in the organisation and implementation of its work, both at individual level and as a group, in relation to the goals that were set for its work. The results are made available to the Nomination Committee. An external partner is engaged at regular intervals to carry out the Board evaluation.
In 2017, seven meetings and four extraordinary meetings were held in accordance with the Boards’s activity plan.
In 2017 Orkla was further developed as a leading branded consumer goods group. Through several acquisitions, a solid foundation has been laid for continued growth and better exploitation of economies of scale over time. The Group continued to focus on operational efficiency and on optimising and rationalising its factory footprint in 2017, while carrying out cost improvement programmes to strengthen its competitiveness. The sale of Orkla’s interest in Sapa to Norsk Hydro was completed in line with the Group’s strategy.