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Published on Thursday, July 11, 2019

Norwegian CEO steps down







Norwegian Air Shuttle CEO Bjorn Kjos has stepped down from the airline, aged 72.

Kjos, one of the airline's founders, will continue as an advisor to the chairman.

Until a replacement is found, CFO Geir Karlsen, aged 54, will act as interim CEO.

Chairman Niels Smedegaard, 57, will also take on a more active management role.

"As Norwegian moves from growth to profitability, it will be an advantage for the company to benefit from Bjorn's extensive network, in-depth knowledge of and experience with global aviation," said Smedegaard.

"We have already started the process of recruiting a permanent new CEO."

Kjos said: "I am confident that the Board of Directors will find the best qualified successor to lead the next chapters of the Norwegian story together with the top management team. Leaving the exciting future tasks to a new CEO and taking on a new challenge as an advisor, is a set-up I am very happy with. I look forward to spending more time working on specific strategic projects that are crucial to the future success of Norwegian."

In the statement, the airline said following a demanding period of financial and operational challenges, fuelled by significant investments, it has changed its strategy from growth to profitability last year.

"We have to ensure that Norwegian is well prepared and positioned to handle volatile markets and unexpected events," said Smedegaard.

"It is crucial that we continue to deliver on our cost reduction initiatives and that we constantly ensure that we have a route portfolio that yields profit. It is also important that the new CEO develops an organisation that embraces continued improvement and operational excellence."

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