Atlantic Sapphire's new CEO is Pedro Courard

Courard leaves his job as Managing Director of Cermaq Chile to take on his new role heading up land-based salmon farming company Atlantic Sapphire in Miami, Florida.
Former Cermaq Chile MD Pedro Courard will join Atlantic Sapphire as its new CEO on August 1.

Former Cermaq Chile MD Pedro Courard will join Atlantic Sapphire as its new CEO on August 1.

Photo: Cermaq.

Atlantic Sapphire has at last named its new CEO, appointing former Managing Director of Cermaq Chile, Pedro Courard, effective from August 1, 2024.

The appointment, which concludes a six-month search process, sees Courard take over from outgoing CEO and founder Johan Andreassen.

The appointment of Courard means that the two top positions at Atlantic Sapphire are now filled by former Cermaq executives. Earlier this month, the company announced that former director of Cermaq Norway Salmon, Gunnar Aasbo-Skinderhaug , would take over as CFO from 1 July.

Courard: a Chilean salmon industry veteran

An industrial engineer with an MBA, Courard has extensive experience in the Chilean salmon industry, having held several management roles over the past 25 years, including key roles related to production and operations.

Among his career highlights, Courard was the Managing Director of Ocea Chile (now known as Scale), Farming Director in Multi X and, since 2022, the Managing Director of Cermaq Chile, Chile's second largest salmon producer.

"In Cermaq, Mr. Courard has been part of the team that led the successful turnaround process of Cermaq Chile, positioning the company as a top performer in the Chilean salmon farming industry," Atlantic Sapphire stated a press announcement.

Andreassen said he was confident in Courard's abilities and strong track record. "I am very pleased that after a long and thorough process Pedro Courard has been selected as my successor... I am convinced that he will be a good match to lead the Miami operations and take the Company to operational excellence in Phase 1 and beyond," Andreassen said.

Andreassen will remain in the CEO role until Courard has relocated to Florida, and will also stay on for an additional period "to secure a seamless transition", Atlantic Sapphire said.

Land-based salmon farming: "potential to disrupt the aquaculture industry" says new CEO

"I am extremely excited and I feel honored to have been selected to lead the next steps of the largest land-based production project in the world, with all the opportunities and challenges it involves for me on a personal level," said Courard.

"I'm convinced that land-based salmon farming has the potential to disrupt the aquaculture industry and solve many of the challenges that global protein production faces today," he added.

"With his addition, our management team is complete, and I believe it is the most experienced in the land-based salmon farming industry," said Kenneth J. Andersen, Chairman of the Board of Atlantic Sapphire.

"Pedro's expertise and leadership will be crucial on our path towards operational excellence and profitability in our current operations, as well as laying the ground for further growth investments," Andersen said.

The Atlantic Sapphire Board plans to grant Courard an incentive package of 1.4 million share options, pending approval at the upcoming annual general meeting. This package aims to align Courard's interests with the company’s long-term goals, the company said.

Replacing Courard as Cermaq Chile's Managing Director is Joachim Wessel, formerly its Commercial and Supply Chain Director.

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