Supplier's News

New leadership for Benchmark Genetics

Jan-Emil Johannessen, head of Benchmark Genetics, retires and will be succeeded by Geir Olav Melingen.

Jan-Emil Johannessen (left) and Geir Olav Melingen (right)
February 14, 2023

Jan-Emil Johannessen, head of Benchmark Genetics, is turning 63 years old in April and has decided to retire after a lifelong involvement in the aquaculture industry. His successor, Geir Olav Melingen, currently commercial director salmon at Benchmark, will take over the position.

“Under the leadership of Jan-Emil Johannessen, Benchmark’s genetics business has become a world-leading aquaculture genetics company with a market-leading position in salmon. Over ten years at Benchmark, Jan-Emil has led the business through impressive growth, including the construction of our state-of-the-art facility in Salten, the expansion on Iceland, our recent establishment of Benchmark Genetics Chile as well as taking Benchmark Genetics into new species like shrimp and tilapia,” said Trond Williksen, CEO of Benchmark Holdings.

Jan-Emil has built a talented and experienced team capable of taking Benchmark Genetics through the next phase of growth, including his successor, Geir Olav Melingen. Geir Olav has extensive experience in leading roles in the aquaculture industry, including at MSD as CEO of Fishguard and CEO of the Bergen Aquarium. He has deep experience in fish health and the salmon industry and is widely acknowledged as a strong leader.

“Geir Olav’s background, coupled with his experience in genetics and, more recently, in health, make him the ideal person to further develop Benchmark Genetics worldwide,” Williksen said.

“I am proud of the business that we have been able to build over the past ten years since I joined Benchmark. I am confident that under the leadership of Geir Olav, Benchmark Genetics will continue to go from strength to strength,” Johannessen commented.