SEATTLE: American Seafoods Group announced the appointment of Einar Gustafsson to the role of Chief Executive Officer, effective upon completion of his transition.
Gustafsson will succeed Mikel Durham, who has decided to step down as Chief Executive Officer.
“Einar brings to American Seafoods proven senior leadership and exceptional strategic capabilities in developing and growing worldwide seafood and fresh foods businesses,” said Scott Perekslis, member of the American Seafoods Board of Directors and Managing Partner of Bregal Partners. “Einar’s track record of success in building international brands will be vital, as he leads American Seafoods through this next chapter of growth.”
As part of the senior leadership transition, Inge Andreassen, President of the American Seafoods Company harvesting subsidiary, and with 30 years of leadership at American Seafoods, was elevated to Chief Operating Officer at American Seafoods. Andreassen will continue as President at American Seafoods Company and also serve as the acting CEO until Gustafsson’s appointment is effective.
Gustafsson said, “I am very excited about the opportunity to lead American Seafoods — with its impressive heritage and history — into a new era of growth. Wild-caught Alaska pollock and Pacific hake present delicious and great value protein offerings that sustainably feed the world, with strong demand and an appeal that truly crosses cultures and palates among consumers worldwide.”
Gustafsson continued, “It is especially rewarding for me to return to my roots in the seafood industry and rejoin American Seafoods to partner with Inge Andreassen, who will serve as our President and COO. Inge’s accomplishments and experience spanning over three decades at the Company will be instrumental in running our global operations, as we propel the business to new heights.”
Andreassen commented, “The seafood industry and American Seafoods has been a huge part of my career. I am so invigorated with this new opportunity, as American Seafoods is in a strong position with terrific growth opportunities ahead. Einar shares the same passion for the business as I do, and this great partnership will have far-reaching impact for American Seafoods and our workforce in this exciting next chapter for the Company.”
Perekslis concluded, “Mikel established a well-earned legacy of stewardship and integrity at American Seafoods. I am grateful for Mikel’s support and offer the Board’s appreciation for all of her contributions to the business.”
Durham commented, “I enjoyed my time at American Seafoods, was proud to represent the talented team through the challenges presented by the pandemic over the past two years, and am looking forward to taking a break and spending some time with family.”
Gustafsson comes to American Seafoods as a seasoned leader and operator, most recently serving as CEO, Americas and Europe for Gong Cha, one of the most recognized bubble tea brands around the world. Gustafsson was responsible for scaling the brand’s presence in the Americas and support its European expansion. Prior to that, Gustafsson was Managing Director at Bakkavor Asia, where for 15 years he led all aspects of the $2 billion fresh prepared food group’s entry into the Asian markets. Prior to that, Gustafsson was VP and General Manager at American Pride Seafoods (a former division of American Seafoods) and before that, President and CEO of Atlantic Coast Fisheries Corporation.
Born in Iceland, Gustafsson moved with his family to Connecticut at the age of 13 and went on to earn a BS in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. He began his career as a consultant at Deloitte Consulting within the Braxton Associates strategy division. While at Deloitte, Gustafsson was named a Deloitte Scholar and graduated with an MBA from Columbia Business School, which was sponsored by the Deloitte program.
Residing in Seattle, Andreassen joined American Seafoods in 1992 serving as the President of American Seafoods Company since 2005.
American Seafoods is a leader in the harvesting, processing, preparation and supply of frozen at sea, wild-caught seafood to proudly feed over a billion people a year.
Harvesting a variety of fish species from the rich, pristine waters of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, American Seafoods processes seafood into a wide array of finished products on board its state-of-the-art fleet of vessels. American Seafoods produces a diverse range of fillet, surimi, roe and block product offerings, made from Alaska Pollock, Pacific Hake, Pacific Cod, and Yellowfin Sole.
Finished products from our sustainable fisheries are sold worldwide through an extensive global distribution and customer support network. From the ocean to the plate, American Seafoods has established a global sourcing, selling, marketing and distribution network bringing sustainably-harvested seafood to consumers worldwide.