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Analysis: Mowi CEO Alf-Helge Aarskog oversaw golden period of growth at salmon farming giant

A brief overview of some of the biggest growth milestones at the salmon farming giant, and the executive's ambitious attempts to make the company even bigger than it's already become.

It took CEO Alf Helge Aarskog just a decade to bring Mowi -- then called Marine Harvest -- from a market cap of NOK 22 billion (€2.1 billion/$2.4 billion) in 2010 to NOK 118 billion (€11.7 billion/$12.8 billion) today, a journey that created the world's most valuable seafood company.

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The CEO stepped down on Nov. 12, replaced by Mowi's current CFO Ivan Vindheim.

Aarskog oversaw a remarkable period of growth and development and led ambitious projects, including creating Mowi's own fish feed operations, massively growing the company's value-added processing division, growing farming volumes substantially and, most recently, launching the company's new branding strategy.

From one CEO chair to another

Aarskog's journey started in July 2010, when Mowi poached him from Leroy Seafood after being in the top role at that firm for only four months.

Luckily for Mowi, Aarskog had experience on the production side of aquaculture both in Europe and the United States, after working for Fjord Seafood, a background that would make the executive well-placed to ensure that the most critical component of the group, it's salmon farming operations, remained strong.

Aarskog headed Marine Harvest's name change and rebranding strategy

Not only did the value of Mowi on the Oslo Stock Exchange grow, the giant's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization more nearly tripled, to NOK 9.1 billion (€903 million/$994 million) in 2018 compared to NOK 3.8 billion (€377 million/$415 million) when the CEO first moved from Leroy Seafood.

Mergers and acquisitions under Aarskog

A range of acquisitions and attempted deals -- successful and failed -- were made during Aarskog's time as CEO, but a few stand out:

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