Juan Lopez Martinez named Stavis Seafoods CEO; Karl Øystein Øyehaug steps down from Atlantic Sapphire

New Stavis Seafoods CEO Juan Lopez Martinez
New Stavis Seafoods CEO Juan Lopez Martinez I Photo courtesy of Juan Lopez Martinez/LinkedIn
6 Min

To keep up to date with the latest personnel changes across the seafood industry, SeafoodSource is compiling a regular round-up of hiring announcements and other personnel-related shifts worldwide. If you have an announcement, please send it to [email protected].

- Juan Lopez Martinez has been appointed CEO of Stavis Seafoods, a seafood distributor headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Martinez will replace Soren Dalsager, who has been Stavis Seafoods’ interim CEO since 2023, the company said in a release.

"With his extensive experience and unwavering dedication, Juan is well-prepared to lead Stavis into a successful future," Stavis Seafoods said in a statement.

Martinez has worked for Stavis for over six years as the company's business development director and vice president of purchasing, according to his LinkedIn.

- Atlantic Sapphire CFO Karl Øystein Øyehaug has announced his resignation.

Following the announcement, the company has appointed Gunnar Aasbo-Skinderhaug as CFO and deputy CEO, effective 1 July.

“I am proud to get this opportunity in Atlantic Sapphire. The demand for salmon is strong, while the industry's supply cannot keep up. The future of salmon farming includes significant production volumes from land-based farms, and Atlantic Sapphire has long experience and a unique position to serve the greatest salmon market in the world with premium salmon,” Aasbo-Skinderhaug said in a release.

Aasbo-Skinderhaug brings more than 15 years of experience in the salmon-farming industry and will bring his operational and financial experience to focus on profitability, according to the company.

"We welcome Gunnar Aasbo-Skinderhaug to our leadership team and are confident that Gunnar, with his broad background, will significantly contribute to the company´s journey toward profitability and growth over the years to come," Atlantic Sapphire Chairman Kenneth J. Andersen said.

Øyehaug will hold onto his CFO role until Aasbo-Skinderhaug relocates to Florida, which the company anticipates will be sometime during Q3 2024.

- Gigante Salmon has appointed Kjell Lorentsen as CEO. 

Lorentsen was appointed as interim CEO on 19 March 2024 and is now transitioning into the role permanently, the company said in a release. Lorentsen previously held the position of CEO from the company's inception in September 2021 and has also since served as a member of the non-executive board.

- Marianne Sivertsen Næss has been named Norway’s minister of fisheries and oceans in the cabinet, effective 19 April.

Cecilie Myrseth, meanwhile, who currently holds that role, has been named Norway’s new minister of industry.

“We have wonderful natural resources in Norway, and the sea has the resources that the world both needs and wants, such as seafood, energy, and experiences. I am concerned that our resources should contribute to value creation and activity along the entire coast. The community's resources must benefit the community. The government must pursue an active maritime policy, which ensures people safe and good jobs that we will live on in the future,” Næss told ecomagazine.

- Lisbeth Plassen has been appointed as CEO of the seafood technology company SEAQLOUD, which is headquartered in Alta, Norway.

According to her LinkedIn, Plassen worked for trade advisory firm Navis AS for nearly seven years. 

- Auckland, New Zealand-based aquaculture company Sanford NZ has appointed David Mair as its CEO. 

Mair was previously CEO of NZX-listed Skellerup Holdings Limited, in which he was named a Deloitte Top 200 CEO of the Year for 2021. In 2022, he was awarded the Johnson Partners Leadership Award from the Institute of Finance Professionals (INFINZ), according to Sanford NZ

“It is a privilege to have this opportunity to lead Sanford – an iconic New Zealand business. I appreciate the support of the board and look forward to working with the people I have already met and meeting those I haven’t. I am excited about seeing Sanford reach its potential as a sustainable high-quality seafood supplier, rewarding both shareholders and staff,” Mair said in a release.

- Scottish aquaculture company Ace Aquatec has appointed Constanza Fontaine as sales and service manager in Chile.

Fontaine brings more than 12 years of experience in the commercial and technical sectors of aquaculture. She spent four years at aqua technology supplier ScaleAQ as service and aftersales manager in Chile, has served as the head of commercial at Badinotti, and has also headed up services and operations at AKVA Group Chile. 

“Aquaculture is a vital industry in Chile, and I am excited to further build on and expand Ace Aquatec’s profile here. This role offers a rare opportunity to combine my expertise with Ace Aquatec’s innovative product portfolio and commitment to creating a more sustainable, ethical future for fish farming. I’m looking forward to helping the company and its technology break new ground in this region,” Fontaine said in a release.

- Steve Gwozdz has left his role as vice president of frozen seafood at Bensenville, Illinois, U.S.A.-based Fortune Fish and Gourmet to join BJ's Wholesale Club as its senior director of perishables. Gwozdz joined Fortune Seafood in December 2023 and previously worked for Stop and Shop as a seafood category manager, according to his LinkedIn.

- Yulia Yurova has been named general director of the Russian Crab Group of Companies. 

Yurova previously worked as the deputy general director for commercial issues and has made significant contributions to sales development and promotion, the organization said in a release. 

- Alness, Scotland-based seafood supplier Aquascot has appointed Fred Bowden to the company's board and as chair of the company's partnership council.

Bowden has a background in leadership and worked at employee-owned Tullis Russell Group for just under 30 years as general manager, group CEO, and, most recently, chairman.

“I am fully committed to the ideals of employee ownership and believe it is part of my DNA,” Bowden said in a release. “My first introduction to employee ownership was with The Tullis Russell Group when we embarked on an employee buyout from the Russell family, convincing me that this was a better way to do business from both the company and the employee’s perspective. I look forward to supporting Aquascot on both its commercial and employee ownership journey.”

- Oslo, Norway-headquartered GenoMar Genetics Group has appointed Gustavo Bozano as CEO, effective 1 May 2024.

Bozano has an extensive background in aquaculture and leadership. Most recently, he held the role of technical and operations director at Brazilian tilapia producer Mcassab and commercial and marketing manager for food and beverage manufacturing company InVivo Group.

“I am very excited about joining GenoMar to further develop its position as the leading tilapia genetics supplier worldwide. I have experienced the value of genetics and efficient distribution of genetic products to be a key contributor to a healthy and profitable tilapia industry,” Bozano wrote on LinkedIn. 

- Rustan Lindqvist has joined Iceland-based salmon-farming group Laxey as its director of aquaculture. 

Rustan already has signed in as a consultant, collaborating with Laxey on technical design and plans. Rustan's wealth of experience and impressive track record make him the perfect fit to lead our technical design and planning efforts,” the company said in a LinkedIn release.

Lindqvist holds a background in land-based aquaculture, having worked at Denmark-based Skagen, Japan-based Mirai fish farm, and Sweden-based Fortum, according to his LinkedIn. He will begin the role on 1 September. 

-Kate Willoughby has been appointed as commercial director of Thai Union-owned, U.K.-based seafood company John West.

Willoughby replaces Mark Doherty, who has been appointed as the company’s managing director.

Willoughby has worked in the grocery sector for the past 20 years and for John West for the past 10. She has held a variety of marketing and brand controller positions for the company, where she delivered key innovation projects, John West said in a release.

“Kate’s promotion to commercial director of John West is a testament to her dedication and commitment to our business,” Doherty said. “It is also a reflection on the good talent management work done by John West and our parent company Thai Union to realize the full potential of our people. Kate's commercial leadership will be vital in introducing the biggest packaging innovation our category has seen in the last 15 years. I am delighted to have her on our team and wish her all the best in her new role.”

- Balaton, Minnesota, U.S.A.-based shrimp-farming technology company Iterro, formerly known as Tru Shrimp, has appointed Kevin Croston to its board of directors, effective 1 May 2024. 

Croston has worked for the past 31 years at North Memorial Health in Robbinsdale, Minnesota, serving as its CEO for over nine years.

The company makes a patented chitosan product called trū Chitosan made from shrimp that is a high-protein, pathogen-free ingredient used in pet food and treats.

"I was honored by the invitation to serve on the board of directors at Iterro. I was able to tour Balaton Bay Reef and the [company's] Innovation Center and was impressed by the team and the facilities. I am most amazed by trū Chitosan, as there is nothing in the world like it. I am excited to be a part of identifying applications for trū Chitosan in the medical and pharmaceutical segments,” Croston said in a release. 

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