The Businessperson of the Year was honored at a reception, hosted by Frjáls verslun business magazine, published by Iceland Review publisher Heimur hf, at Radisson BLU Saga Hotel in Reykjavík yesterday. A panel of five people, including Frjáls verslun Editor Jón G. Hauksson and Publisher Benedikt Jóhannesson, selected Árni Oddur Þórðarson, CEO of Marel, a company which manufactures machines for the food processing industry.
Minister of Industry and Commerce Ragnheiður Elín Árndóttir presented Árni Oddur with the award. Jón G. praised Árni Oddur for his outstanding leadership, wise and well thought out business decisions, including streamlining the company and acquiring the Dutch company MPS this year. The selection committee praised Árni Oddur for his courage, resourcefulness, unique leadership and investments which have made Marel a desirable investment option, bringing the company to the forefront worldwide in its field.
Marel employs 4,700 people in 32 countries. It’s one of the largest and most popular companies in Iceland with a turnover of about ISK 111 billion (USD 86 million, EUR 78 million) this year, and a profit of ISK 2.6 billion (USD 20 million, EUR 18.3 million).
Árni is married and the father of two. His wife is expecting a baby in January, at which point Árni Oddur plans to go on paternity leave.
This is the 28th time that Frjáls verslun selects a Businessperson of the Year. It is the oldest such award in Iceland.
Incidentally, Árni Oddur was also chosen by Markaðurinn, Stöð 2 and Vísir as the business person of the year.