14 April 2023

Carlsberg recruits industry outsider Jacob Aarup-Andersen as its new CEO

Denmark | Carlsberg has appointed the current head of services provider ISS as its new chief executive. The Dane Jacob Aarup-Andersen, 45, will replace the Dutchman Cees 't Hart, 65, who said in March that he will retire at the end of September.

The exact starting date of Carlsberg’s new CEO will be announced later, the Danish brewer said in a statement.

Media reported that Mr Aarup-Andersen became CEO at the facility firm ISS in 2020, after he had been rejected by Denmark’s financial regulator to take over the helm at Danske Bank, on the grounds that his banking experience was not sufficient. ISS has 360,000 employees in 60 countries.

Jacob Aarup-Andersen will succeed Cees 't Hart as CEO of Carlsberg. Photo: courtesy of Carlsberg

Carlsberg’s executive team has seen several reshufflings in the past year. Flemming Besenbacher, then Chairman, retired in March 2022 and Heine Dalsgaard, then CFO, left the company in December.

Keep the money men happy

The appointment of Mr Aarup-Andersen is a nod towards Carlsberg’s shareholders and the stock market. The new CEO does not have a background in the beer or food industry. Except for his stint at ISS, he has been a money man, holding senior leadership roles at Danske Bank and Danica Pension, and working for several investment firms before that.

Still, his appointment could bring some sought-after “innovation or agility” to Carlsberg, Nordnet analyst Per Hansen told Reuters.

“Carlsberg has probably said: We are forced to compromise with industry knowledge, in return we get someone who is very strong in the financial disciplines,” Mr Hansen added.

Commenting on the appointment, the Chairman of Carlsberg’s supervisory board, Henrik Poulsen, said: “Jacob brings a unique blend of excellent strategic skills, financial acumen and discipline, global operational experience and an engaging and purpose-led leadership style.”

“We are pleased that he will be leading the next stage of Carlsberg’s value-creating growth journey, and we are looking forward to welcoming him at Carlsberg.”

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