Ole Erik Almlid is formally taking over as chief executive of Norway’s powerful national employers’ organization NHO (Næringslivets Hovedorganisation). The former journalist and editor succeeds Kristin Skogen Lund, who left NHO earlier this autumn to take over a chief executive of media company Schibsted.
Almlid and Lund had the same employer themselves when Lund was in charge of business operations at the Schibsted-owned newspaper Aftenposten and he was its news editor. He later joined her team at NHO and stepped in as interim NHO chief when she recently left. Now he’s won the top job on a permanent basis, representing the interests of companies and business owners, not least in collective bargaining with national labour federations led by LO.
They’ve long been adversaries but both Almlid and LO boss Hans Christian Gabrielsen were stressing cooperation this week. “I think he’ll be a good man for NHO and that we will continue the good cooperation we have had with NHO (under Kristin Skogen Lund),” Gabrielsen told reporters.
Almlid was glad to hear that, adding that he wants to further extend cooperation between labour and business in Norway. One example is the agreement reached Tuesday on new, more liberal sick leave rules, while LO has also largely gone along with NHO’s calls for only moderate wage growth in recent years.
Almlid, a 49-year-old native of Trøndelag, claimed he wants to make NHO even more important in Norway, and show how the country’s businesses can play a major role in addressing major issues from job creation to climate change. His career in journalism was driven by his “community engagement” he says, and he views businesses as being a crucial part of communities. NHO has more than 25,000 member businesses that in turn provide around 570,000 full-time-equivalent jobs.