When Hilde Merete Aasheim started working in the metals and mining industry, she did not think she would need to become quite such an expert in crisis management. Yet during the past decade, the chief executive officer of Norwegian aluminium and energy company Norsk Hydro has found herself helping to lead the corporate response to a global financial downturn, a paralyzing cyber-attack and the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Good at picking a crisis? I’ve only been in difficult moments!” she laughed.
Aasheim had not planned a career in metals and mining: initially, she had wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps as a teacher, as her older sister had. Born in 1958 in Larvik, a small town a 90-minute drive south of Oslo, Aasheim was the youngest of non-identical twin sisters with a brother and sister four and 14 years older, respectively. They were, Aasheim said, “a good family”.