PRESS RELEASE: Rolf A. Sandvik is leaving his position as CEO of The Fjords. Sandvik, who has led the company since its formation in January 2015, has informed the board of his intention to step down. Vidar Hauståker, the Chief Financial Officer of The Fjords and Flåm AS, will act as interim general manager until a permanent replacement is recruited.
The Fjords has delivered a strong performance since its launch, in addition to launching a new breed of environmentally friendly, passenger focused and multi-award winning vessels. The company’s first three operating years (2015-2017) generated a combined profit before tax of NOK 53million against a total turnover of NOK 383million. However, in 2018, the company faced challenges in sales, operations and profitability, partly as a result of price competition from traditional tourist vessels, while moving into new operational areas proved more challenging than anticipated.
Speaking about Sandvik’s departure, Sverre Tysland, Chairman of the Board, The Fjords, comments: “I want to thank Rolf Sandvik for all his hard work during the demanding start-up phase of The Fjords. With Rolf at the helm, the company has taken delivery of two epoch-making and award winning electric sightseeing vessels built in carbon, Vision of the Fjords and Future of the Fjords. The third vessel in the same series, Legacy of the Fjords, is now under construction.
“The company has also created and launched the new ‘Powerdock’, a revolutionary floating charging terminal with a battery bank, storage space and waste reception system. Altogether, this represents investments of almost NOK 400 million.
“I’d like to wish Rolf all the best with his future career. With an environmentally friendly fleet of new vessels serving our beautiful fjord areas, the company is well positioned in a growing tourism segment with increasing emphasis on sustainable solutions.”
Sandvik himself adds: “The success of The Fjords can be attributed to its owners’ commitment to business development. Fjord 1 ASA’s maritime technical expertise was an important factor in the company receiving the ‘Ship of The Year’ award in both 2016 and in 2018, for Vision of The Fjords and Future of The Fjords respectively. Meanwhile, Flåm AS has ensured the unique travel experiences these vessels offer have been marketed, sold and well received in the demanding global tourist market.
“I am very proud to have played a role in building The Fjords up from its launch to the impressive company it is today, with talented employees, exceptional feedback from passengers, and the innovative, excellent working relationships it enjoys with suppliers and other business stakeholders. The launch phase is now over and the company is firmly established, making it a natural decision to find a new CEO to take the firm forwards.”
The board of The Fjords will now initiate a recruitment process to find its next CEO.