Meet Evoy CFO – Beate Grønnevik

Beate covers everything from building the world’s largest cod hatchery, to gender equality in the maritime industry, and why she wholeheartedly believes in the shift to clean boating 

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Beate Grønnevik took over the CFO role at Evoy in November 2023 after a series of influential positions in high-growth companies. She brings extensive leadership experience from her time as CMO for Fjord Base Group, Norway’s largest supply base, as well as Executive Vice President in Havlandet, a land-based fish farming company. Previously, she has worked as a Business Director for Hub for Ocean, and Brand Manager for companies including Rieber & Søn, Schwarzkopf, and P&G  

Beate has already deployed her expertise in business development and fostering strategic communication at Evoy as we expand from start-up to scale-up, rapidly raising Series B capital and expanding production of our electric boat motor systems. Not only does Beate have deep roots in the maritime industry, preserving the marine environment is a core value. She aims to make a quantifiable impact in the shift to electrifying the maritime sector.  

In her words, she’s been ‘really lucky’ to have been a part of helping many companies grow. Evoy is lucky to have her hands-on experience, vivacity, and drive.  

What do you find thrilling about joining the leadership team for Evoy – a company accelerating from start-up to scale-up?

My favorite thing to do is to work in a company that is either growing or trying to find out who they’re going to be. There are all these possibilities to contribute and to affect whether the company is going one way or another, as opposed to when you work in a company that is completely set and what you’re supposed to do is the same as last year, only better. It’s a more meaningful feeling. You feel potent and you get energy from the situation. You have the ability to watch things happen in real time. I think that’s quite exciting.  

I’ve been really lucky. I started in Bonaventura one month after they got the contract to represent Schwarzkopf. I worked at Hub for Ocean from their very first year. And now Evoy. 

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Image: Local meeting with Finance Minister Siv Jensen (2013-20) at Aksello, 2017: From the left Arne Olsen (Aksello), Martin Ramsdal (Nekst), Siv Jensen (Finance Minister), Stein Kvalsund og Beate Grønnevik (Maritim Forening), Heidi Felle (Aksello), Leif Stavøstrand (then Saga Fjordbase), Kjell Audun Aasen (Nekst) and Øyvind Østrem (Høgskulen på Vestlandet, avd. Florø).

Why did you choose Evoy? What motivates you?

I decided to hop aboard with the Evoy team because my background and know-how can help Evoy reach their goals and push their mission forward. My expertise lies in implementing strategic goals and developing efficient operational strategies that streamline processes. By helping Evoy hit their targets, we can make big strides in sustainability. I’m interested in large-scale impact that goes beyond individuals like me just cutting down on my own consumption and separating my trash into recycling bins. 

What is your relationship to the ocean, sustainability and — of course — boating? 

I’ve spent every summer on my grandfather’s fishing boat, and for me, there’s no better place to be on a beautiful summer day. The importance of keeping the ocean clean has been longtime passion of mine since my days in the Blekkulf Club for young environmentalists back in the ’80s. I’m truly thrilled to be a part of the solution. 

What is your background? 

My background is in business development, marketing, and strategic communication. I excel in fostering open communication and engaging employees to drive optimal performance. I thrive in dynamic organizations seeking structure, progress, and visibility during periods of rapid growth.   

I have former experience as brand manager for Procter and Gamble, Schwarzkopf, and Rieber & Søn from 2006 to 2013. I transitioned to networking in Hub for Ocean from 2014 to 2017. I served as the CMO for Fjord Base Group, Norway’s largest supply base, from 2017 to 2020. I took on the role of Executive Vice President at Havlandet from 2020 to November 2023. I hold a master’s degree from the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH). 

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Image: Beate as CMO for Fjord Base Group, Norway’s largest supply base from 2017 to 2020

As Evoy’s new Chief Financial Officer, what do you think are the most important qualities for a leader to have?

One of the most important things a leader must do is to be receptive and gather information. There’s great information flow these days and it’s valuable. A good leader uses that to make a decision and stand for it. But I don’t think you can be a good leader without listening to your employees, hearing what they have to say, then including them in the decisions. Sometimes, if you’ve made the wrong decision and your employees tell you so, you need to have the ability to change. 

What is your greatest career achievement thus far?

I was the project leader of a team that built the world’s largest hatchery for cod. That feels like a big achievement. I had never built anything before in my life, not even a porch. That was exciting! There was a very strict deadline for the 15th of August 2022, because the fish would be born on that date. The hatchery would have to be done or the babies would have nowhere to sleep.   

I was walking around there with my yellow construction helmet, making sure that everything happened on time, under demanding deadlines. We actually made it. We got there and that was a huge achievement. On the first production cycle, the hatchery delivered 8 million cod, exceeding the projected 7.7 million. 
If I mention another high point, it must be when I started at Rieber & Søn as a Brand Manager. I came from Schwarzkopf. At Rieber we launched products faster than our competition. I instituted a new system so Rieber could take products to market two months faster than the industry standard. For that, I won their Business Achievement Award. 

29% of people employed in the maritime industry are female, according to the International Maritime Organization. As of 2023, about 32% of senior leadership levels in all companies were female, according to Forbes.

As a CFO and as a mother of three daughters, how can we get more women in the maritime industry and how can we get more women into C-suite positions?

I served as the CMO for Fjord Base Group, Norway’s largest supply base, from 2017 to 2020. I took on the role of Executive Vice President at Havlandet from 2020 to November 2023. From my six years on the base, I learned a lot about the difference between being a man and woman in business, and I found this:

They did a large-scale survey – the Heidi/Howard case study on gender double standards in the workplace. They had two CVs that were identical except for the name. One was a man and one was a woman. A large group of people were going to look at the CVs to define who they saw as a leader. Everyone – the men, the women, the young, and the old – perceived both candidates as competent, Howard was seen as more likable, and participants were more willing to work with him. That was everyone. The more successful the female candidate was, the less likable she was. Some of the qualities that we look for in a leader are not the same qualities that we want to find in women.  

If you want to be a female leader, you first have to grow up until you don’t care anymore that the people any age and any gender may not appreciate the qualities that are the same qualities that make you a leader. That takes time.  

Is that because we're trained to do the opposite from when we're young?

I think so. 

Do you have any strategies you use to empower your daughters?

Well, I started really early on that one. I’ve talked a lot to them about how we treat boys and girls differently. I’ve been very careful not to call them cute; I call them strong and I call them tough. Even when it comes to the gender pay gap, I think that’s important because it’s easier to ask for more money when you’ve grown up as a little superhero than when you’ve grown up as a cute little princess. Just starting there, with how we talk to our children, and how we just don’t treat them any differently based on gender, is helpful. But it’s really hard 

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Image: Beate raising her girls as super heores instead of princesses to prepare them for future challenges in life and the workforce

Would you say that maritime businesses are male dominated? Is it more noticeable in this field than in other areas?

It is, but there is a change now, especially with Evoy and the electric boating industry. The traditional maritime industry is definitely male dominated. But now that we’re electrifying the industry and we have a green mission, I see that it attracts more women. So it’s not the same in Evoy and I don’t think it will be the same in this business in the future. The green shift seems to facilitate gender equality in the long run.

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Image: Evoy is focusing on gender equality in all departments

How do you see the future of electric boating? 

Everything that can go electric will go electric. At Evoy, we talk about irresistible boating. Irresistible boating is that urge: as soon as you return from an electric boat trip, you want to get back out on the water again. Through meeting the consumer’s needs and by giving them an accessible and irresistible experience, we can ensure a sustainable future for the seas. 

Other things you should know:

  • Beate’s favorite book is ‘Matilda’ by Roald Dahl. It was the book where she discovered her love of reading. 
  • She’s deeply embedded in the community in Evoy’s homebase in Florø, Norway. She directs, writes, and acts for the local theatre.
  • Beate originally wanted to be a doctor. But during an economics course, she found she was a natural, loved the math, and could utilize the skillset for something beneficial. She changed focus and achieved an MSc at the Norwegian School of Economics.
  • Don’t miss Beate’s episode on the ‘Den Dama’ podcast by Firda that highlights women with strong voices, launching Friday, 12th January. Beate pinpoints how 20 years of professional life culminated in her CFO role with Evoy.  


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