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Low-cost airline Norwegian has appointed Jacob Schram as its new CEO.
Schram is the long-term replacement for founder Bjørn Kjos, who stepped down in July. Geir Karlsen, who has served as acting CEO, will then revert to his role as chief financial officer and deputy CEO. Schram officially takes over on January 1.
Schram, 57, has spent a lot of his career working in the retail sector with managing roles at Circle K and Statoil Fuel and Retail. His most recent roles, according to his Linkedin profile, were as an advisor for start-up generator Antler, and to consultancy McKinsey and Company. He also serves as a board member of automotive company Møller Mobility Group
Norwegian is at a pivotal moment in its history. The airline has put the brakes on its period of massive expansion and is now focused on rationalizing its route network in search of sustainable profits. As well as securing its short-term future, the company hinted in its third-quarter earnings update last month of more big changes to come.
“Norwegian has made aviation history and I am honored to take on the role as CEO. The airline industry is characterized by strong competition and unforeseen events, but it is also an industry that is important to people everywhere,” said Schram.
“I look forward to using my experience to build on the strong foundation laid down by Bjørn Kjos, Geir Karlsen and the rest of the talented and dedicated Norwegian team. Now, my main focus will be to bring the company back to profitability and fortify the company’s position as a strong international player within the aviation industry,”
Norwegian has made a net loss in each of its last two financial years ($168.6 million in 2018 and $219.2 million in 2017, according to Capital IQ). It reports its 2019 results in February.