Svein Richard Brandtzæg has been named chief executive of Norsk Hydro ASA, following the resignation of Eivind Reiten, effective March 30, 2009. Reiten has informed the Board of Directors that he wishes to step down after nearly eight years heading the company.
“At the same time, the board is very pleased that a very capable and experienced Hydro leader has agreed to succeed Reiten.”
Svein Richard Brandtzæg, 51, is an executive vice president in Hydro with responsibility for the Aluminium Products business area, Hydro’s aluminium semi-fabrication activities with about 16,500 employees. Brandtzæg, who holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway. He is also head of the Hydro Technology Board.
Since he began with the aluminium company Årdal og Sunndal Verk in 1985, Brandtzæg has had a number of leadership positions throughout the value chain in Hydro’s aluminium activities – both in metal production and semi-fabrication, and in Norway and abroad.
“Brandtzæg has uncommonly broad expertise and very solid experience from Norwegian and international aluminium business, and he has shown himself to be a strong and extremely dynamic leader throughout 23 years in Hydro,” says Vareberg.
Reiten resigns after eight years as chief executive
Eivind Reiten, 55, has worked in Hydro since 1986, and has led the company since May 2001.
“I have always considered seven to eight years as an appropriate horizon for my time as head of Hydro. This spring will be my eighth year, so now the time is right to make way for a new leader,” Reiten says.
In the course of nearly 23 years in Hydro, Reiten has had a number of leadership positions in aluminium, magnesium, agriculture, oil and energy. He has led Hydro through the most wide-ranging restructuring of the company’s entire 103-year history, from an industrial conglomerate to today’s aluminium and energy company.
“Eivind Reiten has made his mark as one of Norway’s foremost industrial leaders. As chief executive in Hydro, he has been in the front lines of a demanding, but wholly necessary, restructuring in the company, which has laid the foundation for internationally competitive activities in agriculture, oil and energy, and aluminium,” says Vareberg.
Reiten has also served as oil and energy minister, fisheries minister, and under-secretary of the finance ministry in the Norwegian government.
Under Reiten’s contract with Hydro, which was established in 2001 and renegotiated in 2004, he will receive three years’ salary. Complete details regarding compensation are included in the company’s web site Annual Reporting 2007 and Note 11 to the consolidated financial statements "Employee and management remuneration".