Iceland gets fresh face as fisheries minister in cabinet shuffle; Princes Group replaces CEO

Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir
Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir | Photo courtesy of Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir/X
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].

 - Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir has been named Iceland's minister of food, agriculture, and fisheries.

The move comes amid a reshuffling of Iceland's government following the announcement by Iceland Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir she would resign to run for president. Svandís Svavarsdóttir, the country's previous minister of food, agriculture, and fisheries, has become minister of infrastructure, and Bjarni Benediktsson will become prime minister, afte previously serving as minister of foreign affairs.

Gunnarsdóttir is a member of parliament belonging to the Left-Green Movement. In 2019, in an interview with Vísir, Gunnarsdóttir said she opposed whaling, one of the most controversial issues facing her as she begins her new job.

 - U.K. shelf-stable product specialist Princes Group has named Simon Harrison as its chief executive officer, replacing Cameron Mackintosh.

Previously vice president of commercial development at Coca-Cola European Partners, Harrison joined Princes as deputy managing director in June 2023 Since then, it has seen growth across all key business units and also successfully acquired a number of major strategic customers, according to the company.

“I’m delighted to have been appointed as CEO to lead this fantastic business on its next phase of growth and to capitalize on the significant opportunities available to us, whilst continuing our unique mission of ‘proudly offering great tasting choices for everyone without costing the earth,'" Harrison said.

Princes Group is owned by Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi, which has been seeking to sell it since 2022.  After successfully increasing prices, the Princes sale entered a second phase in March 2024 with the reported emergence of Epiris as its sole suitor.

“Under Simon’s tenure as deputy managing director, our business has gained significant momentum. He will continue to accelerate this growth as CEO," Princes Group Chairman Kazuhito Suematsu said. "Princes continues to invest in driving long term sustainable growth, with a particular focus on being a customer and consumer centric business. 

- Mowi Director of Communications for Scotland, Ireland, and Canada Ian Roberts has reached an agreement to terminate the position effective 1 August 2024, according to a company announcement. Roberts joined Mowi in 1993.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the various career opportunities that the company has entrusted to me,” Roberts said. “From leading the salmon aquaculture partnership with the Kitasoo Xai’xais First Nation in British Columbia during the first half of my career, to directing communications in Canada and Scotland over the past 15 years and having the opportunity to work with fabulously smart and caring people, it has all been very rewarding for me personally.”

Mowi COO Farming for Scotland, Ireland, the Faroes, and Canada East Ben Hadfield said Roberts' "leadership and confident presence in communications has been a strong asset for Mowi and for the wider salmon farming sector."

"His confident, passionate approach alongside strong respect from communities where salmon is produced has led to trust and a greater understanding of our business," he said.

 - Stavis Seafoods Chief Financial Officer Mary Fleming will be stepping down on 28 June 28 2024 to pursue other interests, according to a company press release.

Fleming, who has been with the Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.-based company since 1984, will be succeeded by Mark Emmith.

"Stavis Seafoods expresses profound gratitude to Mary Fleming for her decades of exemplary service, unwavering dedication, and invaluable contributions," the company said on 5 April. "The company extends its best wishes to Mary as she embarks on her next chapter."

Stavis Seafoods operates the SeaTru, BOS'N, Prince Edward, Foods From the Sea, Boston Pride, and Chillfresh seafood brands. It was acquired by Profand Group in 2018.

 - Norcod Chief Financial Officer Arne Kristian Hoset will leave the Trondheim, Norway-based aquaculture firm to take on a new position in another company and industry. 

Norcod, which recently raised NOK 2.5 million (USD 233,000, EUR 215,000) from a subsequent offering following a successful private placement, said it has initiated a process to recruit Hoset's replacement. 

- Seattle, Washington U.S.A.-based Ocean Beauty Seafoods has appointed Rachael Minieri as sales manager for the U.S. East Coast. Minieri previously worked for Mowi for seven years as a brand and product manager. 

"I’ve always been fascinated by the food culture of the Pacific Northwest and Seattle’s seafood scene specifically,” Minieri said. “Ocean Beauty is a pioneer with a rich history, and I am looking forward to gaining a deeper knowledge of the industry.”

- Emiliano Pinori has been appointed as research and development manager for Bergen, Norway-based fish welfare company Steen-Hansen. Pinori previously worked at RISE Research Institute of Sweden as a senior research scientist, according to his LinkedIn.

- Intership CEO Ole Peter Brandal will be transitioning to the role of advisor and board member, with Sverre Taknes taking over as CEO. The leadership change follows the merger of Aquaship and Intership by controlling owner American Industrial Partners Capital Fund. The new, larger company operates 39 fishing vessels in Chile, the U.K., Canada, Norway, and Ireland.

“With Sverre Taknes as the CEO and Ole Peter Brandal as the executive chairman, our merger marks the next chapter of growth and innovation,” Aquaship posted on LinkedIn

- Fisheries scientist and seafood industry content creator Emily De Sousa has launched seafood media company InnaSea Media. 

De Sousa, who has developed a large following on social media, co-founded the company alongside creative director and business owner Bri Dwyer to support seafood companies in modernization and media projects. The company will offer a variety of services, such as brand development, strategic planning, partner cultivation, social media, visual production, and content creation. 

"Our vision for InnaSea Media is rooted in our personal experiences and deep connections to the seafood industry," De Sousa said in a release. "We are passionate about telling authentic seafood stories because these stories are not just narratives to us – they are also our own lived experiences." 

- Stephen Budgeon has been appointed as the director of customer experience at Bergen, Norway-based aquaculture technology company ScaleAQ Software. 

Budgeon began the permanent part-time n January 2024, according to his LinkedIn.  Previously, Budgeon worked as the acting IT manager for Mowi Canada East and global livestock applications specialist for Mowi ASA.

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