A new chief executive has taken the reins at Orkla AS, one of Norway’s largest firms. The board of directors has appointed board and audit committee member Peter A Ruzicka to the role of president and CEO, replacing retiring chief executive Åge Korsvold.
“We feel that our money is in safe hands,” said chairman of the Orkla board, Stein Erik Hagen. Ruzicka has previously held managing director and deputy chief executive roles at various retail companies, most recently at Hagen’s own family business Canica AS. He was responsible for establishing the ICA supermarket chain in the Baltic countries and has long been known as Hagen’s “right-hand man.”
“My first task is to get to know the organization, get to know the management group, and get into the issues a little; where there are challenges and where there are opportunities, where are the strengths and weaknesses,” Ruzicka told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv.
Orkla’s interests include grocery brands, consumer goods, real estate, hydro power, the aluminium industry and financial investments. At the end of 2012 the group employed 28,000 people, and had a total turnover of about NOK 30 billion (USD 4.8 billion). The company is in the middle of a three-year restructuring project, focusing mainly on its food products which make up 50 percent of sales.