After over two decades at the helm of Nortek, a specialist in oceanographic instrumentation, Atle Lohrmann is taking on new challenges at newly started Hefring Engineering in Boston. Nortek’s new CEO, Finn Ivar Marum, has been entrusted with the task of ensuring Nortek’s continued growth.
Nortek was established in 1996, when Atle Lohrmann set up offices outside Oslo, Norway, and started building up production capacity for Doppler instrumentation.
Since then, Nortek has grown rapidly, with its revenues increasing from $985,000 in 1996 to $24.6 million in 2018. Many factors lie behind the company’s success, among them the high quality of the instruments, the ability to deliver on time, and the professionalism and expertise of the Nortek employees.
At Nortek, Lohrmann has stepped aside as CEO, taking on the role of Chairman of the Board.
“I am not retiring! Quite the contrary,” says Lohrmann. “From now on, my main focus will be on developing Hefring Engineering here in Boston to become a viable provider and partner in the US market.”
The first project Hefring Engineering is focusing on is to develop a small and efficient glider to help researchers cover more of the ocean in a single mission. This will be achieved by building on the know-how and competence developed at Nortek over its 23-year history.
Preparing for continued growth
Finn Ivar Marum has taken on the role of Nortek’s new CEO. He was previously a Senior Partner at private equity investor HitecVision and most recently an Executive Vice President at Norfund – The Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries. He has also served as Chairman of the Board at Nortek for the past seven years.
“Finn Ivar Marum brings with him new types of competences that are more relevant for our organization as Nortek continues to grow,” states Lohrmann.
As Nortek is expanding significantly both in terms of size and product portfolio, the importance of a solid organizational structure has become even more important. Nortek is entering into several new market segments and aims to more than double its turnover in the coming five years, and needs to be prepared to handle this growth.
Lohrmann adds: “A full-scale management team is now in place at Nortek, and this will help us make sure that we are still able to uphold what have been Nortek’s strengths, even as the organization becomes larger.”
Finn Ivar Marum was keen to take on the role of Nortek’s CEO because he believes that what the company does is meaningful and contributes to the improvement of science and society.
“Our products contribute to an increased understanding of the ocean and help us better utilize its resources. Nortek plays a key role in developing this important knowledge and is instrumental in solving some major issues,” he explains.
Nortek’s product portfolio ranges from technology for wave, current, ice, turbulence and biomass measurements to navigation sensors for surface and underwater vehicles. Marum is convinced that Nortek has a unique potential from a business perspective.
Maintaining an entrepreneurial culture
Looking ahead, Marum wants to maintain Nortek’s culture of entrepreneurship and the “can-do” attitude of its people. He points out that Nortek is characterized by innovation and agility, and a willingness to change and an ability to adjust quickly when needed.