New CEO for listed biotech company

Sheffield-based aquaculture health, nutrition and genetics business, Benchmark, has appointed Trond Williksen as chief executive officer and director.

Williksen, who will take on the role from 1 June 2020, is experienced in the international aquaculture and seafood industries, having held senior executive positions in the sector for over 20 years.

Most recently he was CEO of SalMar ASA, the Norwegian fish farm company and one of the world’s largest producers of farmed salmon. Prior to this, he was CEO of AKVA group ASA, the global aquaculture technology and service provider for six years.

Williksen has also held a number of advisory and non-executive director roles in the industry.

These posts include: chairman of the Board of The Research Council of Norway, Oceans Portfolio; chairman of Mørenot Group, which provides solutions to fishery and aquaculture customers; chairman of the Board of Calanus AS, a biomarine company; and board member of SinkabergHansen AS, a Norwegian integrated aquaculture company.

Following Williksen’s appointment, Peter George will revert to his former position as non-executive chairman.

George said: “I am delighted to welcome Trond to Benchmark. He brings deep, relevant aquaculture expertise and has proven operational, strategic, M&A, and managerial experience spanning both producers and technology providers in the industry.

“I am confident that under his leadership and with his industry expertise, Benchmark will emerge from the current more difficult environment to realise its potential to become a profitable leading provider of sustainable solutions to the global aquaculture industry.”

Williksen said: “I am very pleased to have the opportunity to join Benchmark, a leading provider of sustainable solutions to the global aquaculture industry.

“Benchmark is strategically well positioned within a sustainable industry that holds vast opportunities and potentials for the future.

“I am looking forward to joining a very competent team, positioning and executing on a strategy for profitability and growth in the future.”