Orkla names Jaan Ivar Semlitsch as CEO to replace Peter Ruzicka
June 6, 2019
Orkla has appointed Jaan Ivar Semlitsch as its new CEO, taking over from Peter Ruzicka who stepped down last month following five years in the role.
Semlitsch will take up his position by 1 December at the latest. Meanwhile, Terje Andersen has been named acting CEO and will remain in the position until Semlitsch joins.
Semlitsch joins the Norway-headquartered firm from Dixons Carphone, 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.
From 2009 to 2013, Semlitsch served as CEO of Rema Industrier and as CEO of Plantasjen from 2007 to 2009. 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,” said Semlitsch.
“I want to build on Orkla’s strong existing positions in various markets, and foster the company’s continued growth and expansion.”
Orkla board chairman Stein Erik Hagen added: “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.”
Orkla, which earlier this year moved its headquarters to a new site in Oslo, recorded sales of NOK 41 billion ($4.69 billion) in 2018 and has approximately 18,500 employees.
The company has carried out a raft of acquisitions in recent months. In April, it announced plans to buy a majority stake in Greek ingredients firm Stelios Kanakis Industrial and Commercial, alongside the purchase of Sweden’s Lecora and a minority investment in the owner of Portugal-based Captain Kombucha.
It has since entered into an agreement to acquire Zeelandia Sweden, a supplier of margarine, vegetable oils and bakery ingredients.