SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–American Seafoods Group (“American Seafoods”), a global leader in sustainable protein and one of the world’s largest offshore processors of Alaskan wild pollock and Pacific hake, today announced the appointment of Einar Gustafsson as Chief Executive Officer, effective upon completion of his transition. Gustafsson will succeed Mikel Durham, who has decided to step down as chief executive.
“Einar brings proven leadership and exceptional strategic capabilities to American Seafoods in developing and growing global seafood and fresh food businesses,” said Scott Perekslis, American Seafoods Board Member and managing partner of Bregal Partners. “Einar’s track record of success building international brands will be key as he leads American Seafoods through this next chapter of growth.”
As part of the senior leadership transition, Inge Andreassen, President of American Seafoods Company’s Harvesting Subsidiary, and with 30 years of leadership at American Seafoods, was elevated to Chief Operating Officer of American Seafoods . Andreassen will remain president of American Seafoods Company and will also serve as interim CEO until Gustafsson’s appointment is effective.
Gustafsson said, “I am very excited to lead American Seafoods, with its impressive heritage and history, into a new era of growth. Wild Alaska pollock and wild-caught Pacific hake present delicious, high-value protein offerings that sustainably feed the world, with high demand and appeal that truly crosses cultures and cultures. palates of consumers around the world.
Gustafsson continued, “It is especially rewarding for me to return to my roots in the seafood industry and join American Seafoods to partner with Inge Andreassen, who will be our President and COO. Inge’s accomplishments and experience spanning more than three decades with the company will be instrumental in managing our global operations as we propel the business to new heights.
Andreassen commented, “The seafood industry and American Seafoods has been a big part of my career. I am so invigorated by this new opportunity, as American Seafoods is in a strong position with tremendous growth opportunities ahead. Einar shares the same passion for the business as I do, and this great partnership will have a huge impact for American Seafoods and our workforce in this exciting next chapter for the company.
Perekslis concluded, “Mikel has established a well-deserved legacy of stewardship and integrity at American Seafoods. I am grateful for Mikel’s support and offer the Board’s appreciation for all of his 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 look forward to taking a break and spend time with my family.
Gustafsson joins American Seafoods as a seasoned leader and operator, having most recently served as CEO, Americas and Europe, for Gong Cha, one of the world’s most recognized bubble tea brands. Gustafsson was responsible for strengthening the brand’s presence in the Americas and supporting 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 Asian markets. Prior to that, Gustafsson was Vice President and General Manager of American Pride Seafoods (a former division of American Seafoods) and prior to that, President and CEO of Atlantic Coast Fisheries Corporation.
Born in Iceland, Gustafsson moved with his family to Connecticut when he was 13 and later earned a BS in business administration from the University of Southern California. He began his career as a consultant at Deloitte Consulting within the strategy division of Braxton Associates. While at Deloitte, Gustafsson was named a Deloitte Fellow and earned an MBA from Columbia Business School, sponsored by the Deloitte program.
Residing in Seattle, Andreassen joined American Seafoods in 1992 as President of American Seafoods Company since 2005.
About American Seafood
American Seafoods is a leader in harvesting, processing, preparing and supplying wild-caught seafood frozen at sea to proudly feed more than one 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 range of finished products aboard its state-of-the-art fleet of vessels. of technology. American Seafoods produces a variety of fillets, surimi, roe and blocks, 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 ocean to plate, American Seafoods has built a global sourcing, sales, marketing and distribution network bringing sustainably harvested seafood to consumers around the world. For more information, visit us at www.americanseafoods.com.
About Bregal Partners
Bregal Partners, a private equity firm with $1.25 billion in committed capital, led a deleveraging recapitalization of American Seafoods in 2015. Founded in 2012, Bregal Partners specializes in three primary verticals: consumer and multi-unit, food and beverage, and consumer-focused. business services. Bregal Partners is one of many dedicated funds within Bregal Investments, a global platform that has invested or committed over $16.5 billion since its inception in 2002. Bregal Partners is committed to promoting corporate social responsibility in all aspects of its business. For more information, visit www.bregalpartners.com.