Orkla appoints Jaan Ivar Semlitsch as president and CEO

The Scandinavian-based Orkla group has appointed Jaan Ivar Semlitsch as its new president and CEO, taking up the post by 1 December.

He joins the business, which includes a food division with a number of snacks and bakery applications, from Dixons Carphone Plc, where he has been CEO of Elkjop Nordic for more than six years. For the past year, he has also been in charge and CEO of Dixons Carphone’s International operations.

“Being chosen to lead Orkla in the years ahead is, in many ways, a dream come true,” said Semlitsch on taking up his new post.

“I am pleased that Jaan Ivar Semlitsch has accepted the position. He has 24 years of broad management experience from Nordic and international companies, and has been a highly successful chief executive of several companies. The board has unanimously concluded that Jaan Ivar is the right person to lead Orkla in the coming years,” says Orkla Board Chairman Stein Erik Hagen.

Semlitsch, 47, served as CEO of Rema Industrier from 2009 to 2013 and as CEO of Plantasjen from 2007 to 2009, and was chief operating officer at Statoil Retail Europe from 2004 to 2007. From 2001 to 2004, he was CEO of Expert Denmark. From 1995 to 2001, he worked for McKinsey & Company as a consultant on assignments for a range of companies in the grocery sector.

He is a director of DnB and Brav Norway (formerly Swix Sport). He holds an economics degree from the Norwegian School of Economics and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to lead Orkla into a new and exciting phase of the group’s development. I want to build on Orkla’s strong existing positions in various markets, and foster the company’s continued growth and expansion,” added Orkla’s new President and CEO.

Following the departure of former President and CEO Peter A. Ruzicka on 7 May, Terje Andersen was appointed acting President and CEO, and will remain in the position until Semlitsch joins the group.

Orkla is a leading supplier of branded consumer goods and concept solutions for the consumer, out-of-home and bakery segments in the Nordic region, the Baltics and selected markets in Central Europe and India. Orkla is listed on Oslo Stock Exchange and is headquartered in Oslo. In 2018, the group achieved sales of NOK 41 billion and had approximately 18,500 employees.

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