MALMO, SWEDEN — Arne Frank, currently chairman of the board of Carl Zeiss Vision, has been selected as the new president and chief executive officer of AarhusKarlshamn AB (AAK), based in Sweden and active in human and nutrition health areas. He will take over the position in the spring of 2010 and succeed Jerker Hartwall.
AarhusKarlshamn USA Inc., Port Newark. N.J., is part of AAK and offers such products as EsSence non-hydrogenated shortening blends.
Mr. Frank formerly was c.e.o. of Carl Zeiss Vision, based in Aalen, Germany, and a leader in ophthalmic products. He also was c.e.o. of TAC. Mr. Frank received a master’s of science degree in industrial engineering and management from The Institute of Technology at Linkoping University in Sweden.
"For some time we have been looking for the person who can take over the baton after Jerker Hartwall and bring AAK to new successes and strengthen the company’s position as the world’s leading supplier of specialty fats," said Melker Schorling, chairman of the board for AAK, when the announcement was made Dec. 17. "Arne Frank has successfully developed companies to reach strong market positions with high profitability in the international arena, and we are convinced that he is the right person to take over the management of AAK."
AAK in November said it was opening up for possible acquisitions now that the merger of Aarhus United A/S and Karlshamns AB, first announced in August 2005, has been completed. Over the past four years EBIT has grown by about 90%.
"AAK is a very exciting company and active in a number of important areas for human nutrition and health," Mr. Frank said. "The management has done a fantastic job with the merger between Aarhus United A/S and Karlshamns AB. Now it is a great privilege and very interesting for me to be trusted with taking the company into the next phase, together with the management team."
Mr. Hartwall become c.e.o. of Karlshamns AB in 2000 and then led the merger that created AAK.
"After 10 years as the c.e.o. of a listed company and an AAK with a strong potential for the future, I feel it is time for a new direction in my life," Mr. Hartwall said. "To me, Arne Frank is the perfect choice for the future of AAK."