Hilde Merete Aasheim assumed her position as Hydro’s new President and CEO today, aiming to lift profitability and accelerate the company’s drive to become a leading provider of advanced, low-carbon products and solutions.
Aasheim introduced several measures in support of her business agenda, which include renewing the company’s corporate management board, restructuring and strategic review of the Rolled Products business area, ensuring stricter capital discipline and capital allocation, as well as revitalising on-going improvement programs and identifying new improvement ambitions in all business areas and staffs. A reinforced improvement agenda for the company will be developed and presented during the third quarter.
“While we remain optimistic about the long-term prospects for aluminium and Hydro as the world moves towards the low-carbon, circular economy, we must acknowledge the challenges that must be addressed to strengthen our performance and cash generation,” Aasheim says, adding that Alunorte must be returned to full production as soon as possible to allow for normal operations in Brazil.
“We will increase our ambitions on operational excellence and ensure stricter financial discipline going forward, and we will explore all options to improve earnings from Rolled Products for the future,” she says.
Eivind Kallevik is will take over as head of Primary Metal after Hilde Merete Aasheim, effective August 15. Einar Glomnes, former head of global joint ventures in Primary Metal, is replacing head of Rolled Products Kjetil Ebbesberg, effective immediately, while Pål Kildemo will take over as CFO after Eivind Kallevik, effective August 15. In the interim period, Kildemo will be acting head of Primary Metal in addition to his current role as Head of Finance in Primary Metal.
Innovation and sustainability
According to Aasheim, Hydro will increase its efforts within advanced, low-carbon aluminium products and solutions, based on a more sustainable footprint through the value chain and life-cycle of aluminium.
“Customers are increasingly seeking advanced solutions with the lowest-possible impact, from building and construction to automotive, packaging and electronics. This enables us to commercialise our best-in-class footprint and leading positions within process technology and product innovation,” says Aasheim.
Hydro is already the only aluminium company able to provide the global building and construction sector with solutions containing at least 75 percent post-consumer scrap through its certified 75R alloy, and also offers low-carbon primary aluminium with a maximum CO2-footprint of 4 kilos per kilo aluminium.