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Alexandra Bech Gjørv appointed new CEO of SINTEF

Portrait of Alexandra Bech Gjørv
The SINTEF Board has today appointed Alexandra Bech Gjørv as its new CEO and President. (Photo: Advokatfirmaet Hjort DA)
The SINTEF Board has today appointed Alexandra Bech Gjørv as its new CEO and President.

"The Board has come to the decision that Alexandra Bech Gjørv is the best person to lead SINTEF into a new era", says Chair R. Rasmus Sunde. "She knows SINTEF very well, and has the wide-ranging industrial and international experience, as well as the personal qualities, needed to promote SINTEF's future development. The Board sees her sound judgement and commitment to society as positive forces for SINTEF, and we are very pleased that she has accepted the appointment", says Sunde. Sunde explains that there were many highly qualified candidates for the position.

Alexandra Bech Gjørv succeeds Unni Steinsmo, who at 62 has made it known that she wishes to leave the position after 11 years as Group President. During this period, SINTEF has consolidated its position as a leading player in the European contract research sector.

Alexandra Bech Gjørv will take up her appointment as CEO and President on 2 January 2016. She will be formally employed by SINTEF from 15 September 2015, and will spend her first months getting to know the organisation.

Lawyer with wide-ranging experience in the industrial sector

During 17 years at Hydro and Statoil, Alexandra Bech Gjørv gained extensive experience from managerial roles in the industrial sector in both Norway and the USA. This included the position of Senior Vice-President for New Energy, where she had responsibility for activities linked to wind, solar and bio-energy, as well as hydrogen, carbon capture and new ventures projects. At Hydro she was also Executive Vice-President of HR, EHS and climate change initiatives, and thus has excellent knowledge of the oil and gas, light metals and agricultural sectors. She has also held a managerial position in the Automotive Structures Division at Hydro.

Her education comprises legal studies at the University of Oslo, Oxford University in the UK, and Suffolk University in Boston, USA.

Since 2010 she has been a partner in the law firm Hjort DA, specialising in legal inquiries and crisis management, corporate governance, labour law, integrity and corruption, and energy law. For the last nine months she has been contracted as Managing Director of the wind energy company Sarepta Energi, which owns and develops wind-power projects in Mid-Norway.

During the period 2011-2012 she chaired the 22 July Commission which was delegated by the Norwegian Government the task of reviewing and gathering the lessons learned from the terrorist attacks on government buildings and the island of Utøya in 2011.

Looking forward to promoting SINTEF's further development

"In these challenging times, SINTEF's know-how and innovative capabilities are key to the healthy development of Norwegian industry and the public sector", says Alexandra Bech Gjørv. "For me to be given the chance to lead so many competent people working on target-focused projects, together with NTNU and our other research partners, is a fantastic opportunity. In order to succeed we have to continue to work actively to promote SINTEF in the international arena", she says.

"I will spend my first months talking to clients, research partners and my new colleagues within the organisation. I have already decided to prioritise establishing closer relations with clients and making sure that SINTEF's financial results are sufficiently robust for us to continue to set the agenda by means of self-initiated research and investment in infrastructure", says Gjørv.

Extensive Board experience

Alexandra Bech Gjørv has considerable experience as a Board member, and in other honorary positions. She is currently on the Board of Directors at Technip, a global French oil industry service company employing 40,000 people. During the period 2001-2006 she served two terms as Board member at SINTEF, and held a position on the SINTEF Council from 2007 to 2010.

Alexandra Bech Gjørv was born in Oslo in 1965. She is married with three children, and lives on Inderøy in Nord-Trøndelag.

"I know Alexandra Bech Gjørv to be a highly competent and hard-working leader", says Unni Steinsmo, SINTEF's departing CEO. "She has experience from the industrial sector, an extensive network, and knows SINTEF from before. I have no doubt that she will be an excellent leader, and I'm looking forward to helping her settle in", she says.


  • R. Rasmus Sunde, Board Chair. Tel.: +47 915 35 586
  • Alexandra Bech Gjørv. Tel.: +47 918 06 193
  • Petter Haugan, Vice President, Corporate Communications, +47 901 33 285 (for practical arrangements)

SINTEF is Scandinavia's largest independent research organisation. It possesses world-leading expertise in the fields of technology, the natural sciences, health and the social sciences. SINTEF employs 2,100 people from more than 70 countries, and in 2014 had a turnover of NOK 3 billion. SINTEF's stated vision is "Technology for a better society".


Work experience

  • 2016 - President and CEO SINTEF
  • 2010 - 2015 Partner, Advokatfirmaet Hjort DA
  • 2007 - 2010 Senior vice president, New Energy, Statoil ASA
  • 2005 - 2007 Senior vice president, New Energy, Norsk Hydro ASA
  • 2000 - 2005 Executive vice president HR, EHS and CSR, Norsk Hydro ASA (SVP. since 2000, EVP and member of corporate management board 2002)
  • 1998 - 2000 Vice president, Automotive Structures Division, Norsk Hydro
  • 1995 - 1998 Company secretary, Norsk Hydro
  • 1993 - 1995 Legal counsel, Norsk Hydro USA Inc., New York, USA
  • 1992 - 1993 Foreign legal consultant, Edwards & Angell, Boston, USA
  • 1991 - 1992 Associate, Advokatfirmaet Schjødt


  • 1990 Law degree, University of Oslo
  • 1991 Diploma in Legal Studies, Oxford University
  • 1993 Legal studies, Suffolk University, Boston, USA
  • 1994 New York State Bar Exam