Freyr CEO Quits After Ten Months

Tom Jensen. NHOs sommerfest 21
The chairman and former CEO Tom Einar Jensen (pictured) is back as CEO after Birger Steen's sudden departure. (Archive photo: Trine Jonassen)

CEO Birger Steen is leaving Freyr with immediate effect after only ten months. The CFO is leaving at the same time for personal reasons, according to the battery company.

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A press release from Freyr on Thursday revealed that CEO Birger Steen and CFO Oscar Brown are leaving the battery company, which announced a move to the US last winter.

According to the press release, Brown leaves his position for personal reasons. Steen's sudden departure has not yet been explained, but it is pointed out that the change of manager is being made to "accelerate the path towards profitability." Steen started the job in August last year.

Freyr announced in the fall of 2023 that the battery factory Giga Arctic in Mo i Rana, Northern Norway, was "put on hold." The company said the reason was a lack of competitive alternative to the American tax package, which is to support green investments. Later, Statnett kicked them out of the grid queue due to a lack of progress on the project.

Seamless

Tom Einar Jensen, who went from CEO to chairman of the board last year, will assume the position of CEO with immediate effect.

The current director, Daniel Barcelo, has been appointed deputy chairman. In addition, Evan Calio has been appointed as the company's new CFO.

We needed to adapt our focus.

The company reports that both Steen and Brown will stay for a period to ensure seamless transitions for Jensen and Calio.

Back to the original formula

The company writes that "the new management team will be fully aligned with the Company’s accelerated strategic shift to the U.S., and key initiatives, which in addition to increased profitability, is to "conventional technology agreement with an established cell producer."

Tom Jensen says they now want to return the company to the original success formula.

“Our industry, which continues to grow exponentially in all relevant market segments, is going through a dynamic period of rapid change. It became clear to us that we needed to adapt our focus to capitalize on the unique technology advantage and deep bench of talent that has set FREYR apart,” says Jensen.

Expensive

He further says that Freyr will use the changes in the company to make use of "white space" in the American market.

"By devoting even more focus to bringing our initial production facility online – while continuing to stay nimble in our constantly evolving sector – we are getting back to the basics that made FREYR exciting and successful from the beginning," says the new CEO.

Steen's departure will also be an expensive affair for Freyr, because based on the employment contract, Steen will receive NOK seven million as a severance package, writes Finansavisen.

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