Turmoil at Marel continues with departure of COO; role to be discontinued

Matthew Wilcox

The departure comes just two months after the exit of the company’s CEO Arni Oddur Thordarson and amid a takeover offer.

Icelandic processing equipment manufacturer Marel announced on Tuesday that Chief Operating Officer Linda Jonsdottir is stepping down from her role and will be leaving the company.

In conjunction with her departure, Marel has also decided to discontinue the COO role.

Jonsdottir, who joined Marel in 2009 as Corporate Director of Treasury and Investor Relations, ascended to the role of Chief Financial Officer in 2014 before being appointed COO in 2022.

Following Jonsdottir’s departure, the management of the business functions and customer centers will be redistributed among other members of Marel’s executive leadership.

Arni Sigurdsson, Chief Executive Officer of Marel, expressed his gratitude for Jonsdottir’s contributions: “I want to thank Linda Jonsdottir for her valuable contribution and dedicated service during her 15-year tenure at Marel. Linda has been a key member of the executive leadership and played an important role in the growth and transformation of Marel. We at Marel wish her every success in her future endeavors and the best of luck in the next chapter of her journey.”

Turbulent time

This latest development follows a period of turbulence within the company’s leadership and governance.

The company was rocked by the sudden resignation of CEO Arni Oddur Thordarson in November, citing personal reasons. Thordarson’s departure was unexpected and left a significant gap in Marel’s executive team during a critical period. In response, Marel acted promptly to fill the leadership void, appointing acting-CEO Arni Sigurdsson to fill the vacancy.

Marel is currently weighing up a substantial unsolicited takeover bid of $2.8 billion from Chicago-based John Bean Technologies Corporation (JBT).

This offer has stirred significant debate within Marel’s stakeholder community, with  one shareholder publicly expressed dissatisfaction with the bid, labeling it as a ‘low-ball’ offer.


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