Liv Bergþórsdóttir, CEO of Nova, was chosen Businessperson of the Year 2016 by the business magazine Frjáls Verslun. The award was presented by Prime Minister Sigurður Ingi Jóhannson at a ceremony at Radisson Blu Saga Hotel, Reykjavík, on December 29, according to heimur.is.
Frjáls Verslun Editor Jón G. Hauksson addressed the guest and explained the selection committee’s choice. “She earns this honor for her ambition, for building a large company from scratch, for her resourcefulness, courage in fighting oligopoly, an outstanding leadership talent, which presents itself in team unity, enjoyment, workers’ solidarity, making Nova a valuable company and attractive among investors.”
This was the 29th time the award, the oldest of its kind in Iceland, was presented.
Members of the selection committee are Benedikt Jóhannesson, who served as publisher of Frjáls Verslun through 2016, Rannveig Rist, CEO of Rio Tito Alcan Iceland, Sigurður Helgason, chairman of the board of Icelandair Group, and Eyþór Ívar Jónsson, department chairman at Copenhagen Business School.
In an interview in Frjáls Verslun, Liv emphasized that joy is a driving force at Nova and the basis of its corporate culture. It’s used in administration and to give the company a competitive edge. Nova’s staff is trained to be independent and to show initiative to get things done.
Nova’s revenue was expected to reach ISK 8.4 billion (USD 73.26 million, EUR 70.49 million) last year, which represents almost a seven-fold increase since 2008. Profits exceeded ISK one billion (USD 8.72 million, EUR 8.39 million) for the year.
Nova enjoys a 15 percent market share in the telecommunications market and 35 percent market share in the cell phone market. The company has so far focused on cell phone service alone, but is in the process of entering the internet market with fiber optic cable service. Its customers, who now exceed 150,000, have ranked the happiest cell phone customers for seven years in a row.