Norwegian salmon farmer SalMar on Monday appointed owner and co-founder Gustav Witzoe as CEO of the company, effective immediately.

The current CEO and one of Norway's richest people, Olav Andreas Ervik, will become managing director of the new subsidiary SalMar Ocean and responsible for the company's ventures in ocean-based fish farming.

SalMar's initiatives in ocean-based fish farming have to date been organized as a business area within SalMar and headed by Witzoe. These activities will now be transferred to a subsidiary which Ervik wanted to lead.

Witzoe, also one of Norway's richest individuals, indirectly owns 88.8 percent of investment fund Kverva, which in turn owns 53.4 percent of the shares in SalMar. He is also a director of Kverva.

Ervik became CEO last April when then-CEO Trond Williksen stepped down after admitting the company's alleged links to a salmon smuggling ring in China. At the time, Ervik was director of farming at the company.

Both Witzoe and Ervik emphasize that this change will ensure continuity in management and is a logical consequence of SalMar's ambition to lead the development of ocean-based fish farming.