New EVP appointed for Marel Fish as manufacturer shuffles leadership team

Published on
March 12, 2020

Gardabaer, Iceland-based food processing equipment manufacturer Marel has made immediate changes to its executive team and organizational structure, the company announced on 9 March.

The firm consolidated its executive team to nine member from its previous 12, and appointed two new executive vice presidents: Gudbjorg Heida Gudmundsdottir and Anna Kristin Palsdottir. The aim of the changes “support a more agile, diverse, and customer-centric organization,” Marel said in a press release.

Gudmundsdottir will replace Sigurdur Olason – who is leaving the company – as the executive vice president of Marel Fish. After joining Marel in 2011, Gudmundsdottir once led innovation clusters in Iceland and the United Kingdom, guiding strategic projects such as the Flexicut, an automatic pinboning and portioning machine.

As Vidar Erlingsson takes on a new role within Marel, Palsdottir will assume the post of executive vice president of innovation. Palsdottir, who joined the company in 2015, has held various managerial roles within innovation, “demonstrating excellent development in leading cross-functional innovation teams enabling Marel to deliver strategic solutions to the market,” the firm said.

“We welcome Gudbjorg Heida Gudmundsdottir and Anna Kristin Palsdottir to the executive team. They have both shown outstanding leadership in their respective fields within Marel. The diverse and experienced executive team is well composed to lead Marel’s vision of transforming the way food is processed,” Marel Chief Executive Officer Arni Oddur Thordarson said.

Meanwhile, Ulrika Lindberg –  the executive vice president of global markets and service – will spearhead the combined function of global markets and service as Einar Einarsson, previously the executive vice president of global markets, steps down from the executive team to return to the role of regional director for North America. Einarsson oversaw the successful implementation of a new regional structure and leadership in Latin America and China for Marel, which the company now hopes to roll out globally.

“The way forward is to sharpen the customer focus with a stronger key account management to serve our customers’ needs throughout the lifecycle of solutions. The aim is to step up investments in the customer-facing sales and service platform, while simultaneously streamline and synergize the back-end,” Marel said.

Arni Sigurdsson, chief strategy officer and executive vice president of strategic business units, will focus on software, secondary processing, and prepared foods moving forward, as Marel invests more in such areas these areas as they apply to poultry, meat, and fish. Jesper Hjortshoj, previously the executive vice president of further processing, is stepping down from the executive team to become the vice president of prepared foods (previously called further processing).

Marel Chief Financial Officer Linda Jonsdottir will take over the responsibility of human resources in addition to finance and IT, Marel added. David Freyr Oddsson, previously the executive vice president of HR, steps down from the executive team to assume the role of vice president of people and culture, reporting to Linda Jonsdottir.

“We live in a dynamic world. Market conditions for food processing are constantly changing and the need for affordable, safe, quality food that is produced sustainably has never been as high. To stay at the forefront of the industry and reach our 2017-2026 growth targets, we must constantly evaluate our organization and evolve. A leaner management team and clearer accountability is the first step towards a more simplified and agile organization. The aim of the change is to sharpen the market focus and shorten time to market at the same time reducing the cost base,” Thordarson said.

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