Statkraft’s board has appointed its executive vice president for the Nordics, Birgitte Ringstad Vartdal as new CEO to succeed Christian Rynning-Tønnesen after 14 years in the position.

Vartdal will assume her new role on 1 April 2024.

“Birgitte has a broad and relevant background as an Executive Vice President at Statkraft, and as CEO and CFO at the shipping company Golden Ocean,” said Statkraft chair Alexandra Bech Gjørv.

“She is a very capable and assertive leader with the qualities required to lead a large international company.

“It is a strength that we are appointing a new CEO from within our own ranks, who knows the company, the organisation, and our key stakeholders well."

Vartdal at an interview last month had told Recharge that Statkraft plans to further increase its wind power investments – beyond a €1bn pledge for repowering and new wind farms in Norway that was recently announced.

The company already is the largest wind farm producer in Norway and Europe’s biggest renewable energy generator, while also expanding in India and South America.

“Statkraft is an important company in the energy transition of Norway, Europe, and the world,” Vartdal said.

“We will continue to contribute as Norway's largest power producer and be the industry's most important partner by offering stable, green energy at competitive prices in the markets we operate in.”

Vartdal has led Statkraft’s largest business area, the Nordics, over the past two years. Before that, she was head of the European wind and solar area at the company. She holds a degree in Physics and Mathematics from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and a Master of Science (MSc) in Financial Mathematics from Herriot Watt University in Scotland.

She has previously been a board member at Yara and Mowi, and a member of the corporate assembly at Equinor. She currently serves on the board of Renewable Norway and several of Statkraft's subsidiaries.

Statkraft started as a Norwegian hydro-power company, but currently has operations in 21 countries, and a portfolio of more than 400 renewable projects. It is Norway’s second most valuable company after oil & gas giant Equinor.

Outgoing CEO Rynning-Tønnesen said Vartdal has a “relevant background and knows the organisation and business very well.

“Birgitte is strategic, analytical, and capable of engaging the organisation. She has a down-to-earth personality that in many ways embodies Statkraft's values: acting responsibly, making an impact, and growing together.”

Rynning-Tønnesen had first joined Statkraft in 1992 to 2005, and returned to the company as CEO in 2010 after serving as CEO at Norske Skog. Under his term as CEO, the utility grew its revenue from NKr29bn ($2.74bn) in 2010 to NKr124bn last year.