- Oil and gas company Equinor CFO Ulrica Fearn will be departing after serving 16 months in the position in order to take on the financial helm for beer brand Carlsberg Group, according to separate announcements by both companies Friday.
- Equinor insider Torgrim Reitan will step in as executive vice president and CFO for the Norwegian company following Fearn’s departure, according to the company’s Sept. 30 announcement. Fearn will be available to “secure a good hand to her successor until further notice,” according to the release, with Reitan’s appointment effective Oct.6.
- Retain has held various executive roles for Equinor during his near three-decade stint with the firm — including serving as its CFO for a five-year period, according to the release. “In the current energy crisis, it is a definite strength to have Torgrim in my top management team, with his experience as CFO, from our upstream business, from trading and operations of natural gas, and lastly from the acceleration of growth in our renewables business,” Anders Opedal, president and CEO of Equinor said in a statement.
A 27-year Equinor veteran, Reitan most recently served as SVP for finance and control within the company’s renewables business, according to the Friday announcement. He served as an EVP for development and production from 2018 to 2020, and has also held other senior executive positions for the company. He served as their EVP and CFO from 2010 to 2015.
“I look very much forward to joining the [Corporate Executive Committee] and to work closely with Anders and his very strong team in handling the current energy crisis, while using my broad experience contributing to drive the momentum in our transformation towards net zero in 2050,” Reitan said in a statement.
Earnings for the Norwegian state-controlled company Equinor — one of Europe’s largest gas suppliers — reached $17.6 billion for its second quarter, more than triple the $4.64 billion reported during the same period last year, according to its July 27 results.
The bump can partially be attributed to the ongoing war in Ukraine, as gas and energy prices in Europe surged and as other suppliers move swiftly to take advantage of the gaps created by a decline in available Russian oil. Increasing its flow of gas into Europe in order to lessen the strain of the supply shortage is a key responsibility for the oil and gas firm, Equinor CEO Opedal told the Financial Times in a September report.
Equinor completed its exit from Russia in early September after announcing its intent to do so in May, according to a Sept. 9 company release.
Fearn, meanwhile, served as Equinor’s CFO beginning June 2021, according to her LinkedIn profile. Prior to her tenure at the oil and gas firm, she served as director group finance, group controller for London, U.K.-based telecommunication service company BT Group.
An alum of global beverage and alcohol company Diageo, Fearn held numerous senior management and executive positions during her 19-year tenure with the company, including serving in several regional CFO positions.
Fearn’s appointment to the top financial seat at Carlsberg comes after the beer group’s previous CFO, Heine Dalsgaard, announced he would be resigning in favor of a position at a private equity-backed firm in June, per a previous CFO Dive report. Dalsgaard will remain as CFO until Dec. 31, while Fearn will step into the CFO seat effective Jan. 1, 2023, the Copenhagen, Denmark-based company said in its Sept. 30 release.
Dalsgaard’s departure occurred among analyst expectations that Carlsberg’s CEO, Cees ’t Hart, would himself be stepping down before the company entered into a new strategic phase. Hart has served as the CEO for the brewer since June 2015, per his LinkedIn profile.
“Ulrica will bring to Carlsberg a combination of stellar commercial credentials and a people centric leadership style. She is the right person to continue our disciplined performance management culture,” ‘t Hart said in a statement included in the company’s Friday announcement.
Equinor and Carlsberg declined to comment.