Atlantic Sapphire CEO set to quit

Johan Andreassen, outgoing CEO, Atlantic Sapphire

The CEO of land-based salmon farmer Atlantic Sapphire, Johan E. Andreassen, has announced he will be stepping down.

Andreassen will remain in an “interim CEO role”, the company said, until a successor has been appointed.

Atlantic Sapphire was founded in Demark but now operates a RAS (recirculating aquaculture system) salmon farm in Florida, USA.

Andreassen commented: “The company is going from a long entrepreneurial phase to a more mature industrial phase, and now it feels right for me to let someone else take over the CEO position that can spearhead that transition, and I will help to find and onboard my successor. The time is right to start the process of moving on and devoting more of my time to other personal priorities that I’ve sacrificed over the last years, including other companies that I am involved in.

“Being the founder of the company, having held the Chairman role from inception in 2010 until last year and the CEO position since 2016, Atlantic Sapphire is and will still be my ‘baby’. I will continue to contribute to the best of my ability to ensure the Company achieves its goals.

“I am extremely proud of our team that has been working hard over a long period of time, and I am convinced that the Company will turn farming the most sustainable, healthy, fresh and delicious salmon in America into a profitable business.”

Andreassen served as the Group’s Chief Executive Officer from 2010 to 2012, and from 2017 to 2020. Prior to founding Atlantic Sapphire, he founded and led Villa Organic, a 30,000-ton capacity conventional salmon farming company, which was subsequently sold to Lerøy and SalMar in 2010.

Atlantic Sapphire phases 1 & 2, Florida

Atlantic Sapphire’s Chairman, Kenneth J. Andersen, said: “On behalf of the board of directors, we want to express our gratitude to Johan for his leading role in developing the Company into what it is today. We understand Johan’s priorities and appreciate his continued support of the Company in a different role going forward. Johan has built up a strong team that we’re confident will be instrumental in the Company’s further development and growth.”

Meanwhile, Atlantic Sapphire is appointing Mario Palma as Chief Operating Officer (COO). He is currently the Director of Aquaculture Engineering. The company said: “In addition to eight years of RAS experience from companies such as Mowi prior to joining Atlantic Sapphire in 2017, Mr Palma has been a part of the US project since day one, and brings 14 years of technical and operational experience on how to manage the facility in a structured way as the company moves on to an industrial phase.”

The previous COO, Jon-Birger Løvik, will remain with the company in a different role.


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