Norwegian has appointed Jacob Schram its new chief executive.
Schram succeeds Norwegian founder Bjorn Kjos, who stood down as chief executive in July and has since taken up a role advising Norwegian chairman Niels Smedegaard.
Geir Karlsen, who has been deputising in Kjos’s absence, will continue in his role as Norwegian chief financial officer and deputy chief executive.
Schram, who Norwegian said has held management roles with convenience store Circle K, management consultant McKinsey and fast-food giant McDonald’s, will take up the role on 1 January 2020.
Smedegaard, who chairs Norwegian’s board of directors, said Schram brought more than 30 years’ “extensive management experience” with global firms, proven leadership skills, a strong commercial consumer background and “impressive record of value creation”.
“I look forward to working with Jacob and the rest of the Norwegian management team,” said Smedegaard. “Together, we will drive efficiency and continuous improvements to the benefit of our customers, shareholders and employees.”
Paying tribute to Karlsen’s “remarkable efforts” since Kjos stood down, Smedegaard added: "During the last months, the company has taken a series of measures which has resulted in strong financial improvements.
“Profits in the company’s third quarterly results were the highest ever and the company has also taken several actions to increase liquidity and reduce capital commitments.
“I am naturally very pleased with Geir’s decision to focus entirely on his role as chief financial officer. Geir will also continue as Deputy chief executive. With Jacob Schram and Geir Karlsen in the top management, we now have an outstanding team in place to take the company forward.”
Schram said he was honoured to assume the role. “The airline industry is characterised by strong competition and unforeseen events, but it is also an industry that is important to people everywhere.
“I look forward to using my experience to build on the strong foundation laid down by Bjorn 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.”