CEO at Biotec Pharmacon (now ArcticZymes Technologies)
Biotec Pharmacon ASA is a public company that has been developing and producing cold-adapted enzymes for more than 30 years. Its high-quality enzymes are an integral part of molecular research and diagnostics, either as stand-alone enzymes or as components of kits. In therapeutics such as gene therapy and vaccine production the company’s enzymes aide the optimisation of manufacturing processes.
The current CEO announced his retirement and RSA was appointed to manage the search for his successor. The new CEO would manage and lead the group in line with directives set by the Board to ensure long-term value creation for the shareholders. The new appointee would be expected to initiate, revise and implement strategic plans and be given the opportunity to drive the international commercialisation of Biotec BetaGlucans and expand ArcticZymes’ technology platform and B2B model.
This position represented a unique opportunity to strengthen the commercial platform based on a solid foundation of patented R&D. The new incumbent would need to be comfortable with and thrive on the need to work under the scrutiny of the Board, shareholders and multiple internal and external stakeholders. The successful candidate would also need to have a significant understanding of both product and B2B commercialisation in order to deliver the strategic goals of the company.
How our approach made a difference:
BiotecPharmacon was relatively unknown amongst the candidates we spoke to but once they were briefed the value proposition was attractive. Unsurprisingly, the location in Tromso in northern Norway proved to be an issue for some candidates, as for many, relocation was not an option, or they were unable to commit to travel to Tromso and Oslo. There were other challenges specific to the company including its relatively small market cap as a publicly listed company, its business model which at that time included two separate businesses and the yet to be determined financing strategy.
Despite these challenges, we found an excellent candidate within the required timeframe who was able to manage the location issue, take on the role and successfully lead the business through to a stronger position.