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Industry veteran Arne Roland appointed interim CEO as Knut Roar Wiig steps down

The CEO and co-founder of Nordic Unmanned ASA (“Nordic Unmanned”), Knut Roar Wiig, has agreed with the Board of Directors that he will step down from his leadership role. The Board has, with immediate effect, appointed experienced industry leader Arne Roland as interim CEO.

Knut Roar Wiig

“It has been a true privilege to build and lead Nordic Unmanned as CEO and co-founder since we founded the company in 2014. The company’s talented employees deliver professional flight services to some of Europe’s most professional customers, and partner with global defense majors as well as civilian drone pioneers. Recent acquisitions have strengthened our offering with high-potential world leading proprietary and differentiating drone technologies which will make considerable revenue contributions already this year. All of this, and our 89 million EUR strong backlog, is testament to the remarkable development we have behind us since we started the company. I have been with the company for more than eight years and it’s a natural time to step down as the company is entering a new phase of operations. I look forward to supporting the company’s transition to new leadership in the short term, and in capacity of being a very active shareholder in the long run.”

Knut Roar Wiig, former CEO of Nordic Unmanned

Nordic Unmanned is a European leader in unmanned aerial vehicles, with its two strong business units: Nordun (flight services) and NUTech (drone products). Nordun is an experienced operator of advanced BVLOS drone platforms, with nearly 3000 hours flown in 2022 for European government departments and defense agencies. NUTech subsidiaries AirRobot GmbH & Co. KG (DE) and DroneMatrix NV (BE), represent attractive niche products in the military-grade lightweight drone market and the productivity-focused drone-in-a-box market, respectively. As the company is entering a new phase of industrialisation with a backlog approaching NOK 1 billion, the focus is shifting towards profitability with lean production processes and further commercialisation of the company’s core products and services.

Arne Roland (b. 1967) is a Norwegian citizen with 30 years of industrial experience in the aviation and industrial engineering industries. He was CEO of CHC Helicopters Norway from 2012 to 2017 and served for four years as a board member of the Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries. Prior to this, he spent 20 years with various Aker companies. Over the last few years, Roland has held interim CEO roles and consultancy assignments through ARTerra AS. Roland is an economist by education and holds a degree in Finance and Project Management from the University of Agder, Norway. Roland has followed Nordic Unmanned closely since the listing on Euronext Growth Oslo in December 2020, as a member of the Nomination Committee and will as of today step down from the committee.

“I am impressed with what this team of competent and engaged people has achieved in less than a decade. Nordic Unmanned’s services and technologies are saving lives, improving productivity, driving data-based decision making and not least materially contributing to reduced emissions. I believe unmanned technologies are becoming a natural part of industrial as well as government toolboxes in Europe and the Americas, and that Nordic Unmanned is well positioned to capture attractive niches both within flight services and drone technologies. Nordic Unmanned has a great future, and I am extremely motivated to contribute to the company’s success in the role as interim CEO”.

Arne Roland, CEO of Nordic Unmanned

“It is a pleasure to welcome Arne Roland to Nordic Unmanned, who has followed the company for several years. On behalf of the Board, I would like to recognize Knut Roar as a visionary CEO of the company and industry profile, and wish him the best for the future”, says Nils Johan Holte, Chair of the Board.