Erling Øverland proposed as new NHO president

February 12, 2004, 15:45 CET

The election committee of the Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry (NHO) has proposed Erling Øverland, Statoil’s acting chief executive, and Lisbeth Berg-Hansen as the new president and vice president of NHO respectively. They will succeed Jens Ulltveit-Moe and Gerd Kjellaug Berge.

Ms Berg-Hansen is head of the family-owned SincaBerg-Hansen fish-farming company.

The chair of the election committee, Kjell Rognaldsen, says that these two candidates represent two important export industries, oil/gas and fish. He points out that they personify the breadth of Norwegian business and industry; by coming from a large group and a small, family business. Both have long experience as officials in the NHO system, from their own regional associations and NHO's executive board.

Mr Rognaldsen is also pleased that the choice of Mr Øverland and Ms Berg-Hansen from a geographical perspective shows that private industry can be found all over Norway. Statoil's head office is in Stavanger, while Ms Berg-Hansen's company is based in Bindal, in the south of Nordland county.

"I'm delighted to have been asked, and I appreciate the fact that Statoil will make arrangements so that I can do the best possible job for the Norwegian business community," says Mr Øverland.

“I’m pleased that NHO wants to use Statoil’s management resources and managerial expertise,“ says the group’s chief executive designate, Helge Lund. “It is gratifying for both Erling Øverland, and of course Statoil."

“This is an important task which entails developing Norwegian industry and strengthening the competitiveness of business and industry. Recently NHO has also put the social responsibility of trade and industry in a broad context on its agenda. Based on his experience at Statoil and the offices he has previously held in NHO, Mr Øverland is in an excellent position to carry on this important work.”

The new president, vice president and executive board will be elected at the NHO’s annual general meeting on 9 June.