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Changes in Hydro’s Corporate Management Board

Norwegian aluminium company Norsk Hydro ASA will implement several changes in its Corporate Management Board to strengthen the company’s Rolled Products business area and business-critical support functions within the areas of people and organizational development, global framework conditions and stakeholder management.

Effective January 1, 2015, Hydro’s CMB will include four new executive vice presidents (EVP), with Kjetil Ebbesberg as new EVP of the Rolled Products business area, Hanne Simensen as new EVP for People & HSE (health, safety and environment), Anne-Lene Midseim as new EVP for CSR & General Counsel, and Inger Sethov as new EVP for Communication & Public Affairs.

”The global aluminium market is changing rapidly. The winner in this industry will be the leader in competence, innovation and technology within a predictable framework of compliance and responsibility. Our new CMB is the response to a new future in aluminium, ensuring that Hydro will take the winning position in the industry and strengthening our ability to create value,” says Hydro President and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg.

Ebbesberg to head Rolled Products

Kjetil Ebbesberg, 43, currently head of Hydro’s Holmestrand rolling mill in Norway and former EVP for Metal Markets, will take over as head of Hydro’s Rolled Products business area.

Ebbesberg, who began his career in Hydro in 1996, holds an MA in business economics from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (NHH). He has previously worked as CFO for Norwegian retailer COOP in 2007-2009 before returning to Hydro to head the company’s Metal Markets division. Since 2012, Ebbesberg has headed the Holmestrand rolling mill, gaining further operational competence to complement his extensive commercial capabilities.

“We are very pleased to have Kjetil Ebbesberg as the new head of Rolled Products, bringing his solid combination of commercial and operational competence as we continue to high-grade our portfolio and strengthen our customer focus in the downstream part of our value chain,” Brandtzæg says.

Oliver Bell, who has been EVP of Rolled Products since 2007, will leave Hydro after 29 years in the company to pursue other opportunities.

"Bell has been an important contributor to Hydro's strategic agenda for many years. He has done a tremendous job in positioning Hydro in the European and global aluminium industry, especially in the customer-oriented downstream market. I regret that he is leaving the company and wish him the best of luck in his further career," Brandtzæg says.

Strengthening staff functions

In order to sharpen the focus within key business-critical support functions for Hydro, the current Corporate Staffs areas will be reorganized and divided into the two functions of People & HSE and General Counsel & CSR. Communication& Public Affairs will be included in the CMB due to the increasing importance of global framework conditions and stakeholder management.

Hanne Simensen, 47, former head of HR in the Energy business area and currently head of Energy Markets in Hydro, will become new head of People & HSE. Anne-Lene Midseim, 46, currently company secretary and former Head of Staffs in Hydro’s Bauxite & Alumina business area in Brazil, will take up the new CMB position as General Counsel & head of CSR. Current Senior Vice President for Communication & Public Affairs, Inger Sethov, 44, will continue to head the area as an EVP and member of the CMB.

“These support functions are critical to develop our business and ensure Hydro’s ability to realize the full potential of our strong platform,” Brandtzæg says.

“Our organization, our competence base and our leadership pipeline require continuous development to ensure that our ambitions are matched by our talent. Similarly, our ability to ensure competitive framework conditions and our capabilities within stakeholder management are critical success factors everywhere we operate in the world,” Brandtzæg says.

Wenche Agerup, current General Counsel and EVP for People & Organization, HSE, CSR and Compliance, will leave the company after 15 years in Hydro.

“I regret that Agerup will leave the CMB and Hydro. She has done an outstanding job for the company in a variety of leadership positions with extensive commercial and operational responsibilities and for the past five years as General Counsel and EVP for Corporate Staffs. Agerup has led transformational change processes and taken an active part in Hydro’s strategic direction. She has been instrumental in developing a new People Strategy and a further strengthening of Hydro’s compliance system,” Brandtzæg says.

Following the changes, Hydro’s Corporate Management Board will consist of:

Svein Richard Brandtzæg President and CEO
Hilde Merete Aasheim EVP Primary Metal
Kjetil Ebbesberg EVP Rolled Products
Alberto Fabrini EVP Bauxite & Alumina
Eivind Kallevik  EVP and CFO
Anne-Lene Midseim EVP CSR & General Counsel 
Arvid Moss EVP Energy and Corporate Business Development
Inger Sethov  EVP Communication & Public Affairs
Hanne Simensen EVP People & HSE