Leaves after almost three decades at Samherji

Haraldur Grétarsson with his wife Harpa Ágústsdóttir
Haraldur Grétarsson with his wife Harpa Ágústsdóttir

Haraldur Grétarsson will resign from the European operations of Samherji Holding ehf. in early April. Mr. Grétarsson has held the position of managing director of the Deutsche Fischfang Union (DFFU) in Cuxhaven, one of Germany's oldest fisheries companies, and has served on the boards of various companies. Baldvin Thorsteinsson has been appointed to replace Grétarsson and will be based in the Netherlands. With regards to these changes, routine organizational adjustments will be made in the near future.

Haraldur Grétarsson has worked for Samherji and affiliated companies since 1992. After leaving his position, Mr. Grétarsson will work as an advisor to Samherji for the remainder of this year. Mr. Grétarsson says that it was time for a change after almost three decades and largest part of the period abroad, but he moved to Scotland in 1998 with his wife Harpa Ágústsdóttir and their children.

"When we moved to Scotland at the end of the last century and started working for Onward Fishing in Aberdeen, we had no idea about the journey that we were about to begin. During this time, we have gotten to know many people and worked with talented colleagues who have contributed to the fantastic results that have been achieved during the period. We are thankful for that, and we wish our colleagues all the best for the future," says Mr. Grétarsson.

Started at the machine workshop and then sent out to sea

Thorsteinn Már Baldvinsson, CEO of Samherji, says that Grétarsson has been one of the backbones of Samherji Holding's operations for a long time. He is responsible for the company's European operations and at the same time has overseen compliance with the complex regulations and extensive communication that accompanies the fishing industry in Europe.

Mr. Baldvinsson says he remembers well when he hired Grétarsson. "I called the Director of The Fisheries Department at the University of Akureyri at the time when the school year was coming to an end because I needed someone to look at my computer systems. The Director recommended Grétarsson. I first needed to know if he could work, so he put him in our machine workshop. When he had proved his work ethic there, he went and looked at the computer systems with me, of which we both had a limited understanding. We soon realized that there was nothing wrong with the systems, so Grétarsson ended the summer by going out to sea. It was very healthy for a city boy from Reykjavík. The following year he returned, then completed his final university assignment with Samherji and has worked for us ever since. Our collaboration has been both successful and rewarding and I would also like to thank Harpa for the time together all these years." says Mr. Baldvinsson. 

"The three words that best describe Haraldur Grétarsson in my mind are honesty, selflessness and diligence. It is excellent to work with Haraldur as he is very straightforward in communication. He has always conducted his work and completed his tasks successfully. I wish him and his family all the best in the future," says Kristján Vilhelmsson, managing director of Samherji's ships operations.