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Charting a steady course toward technology leadership with Nel’s new CTO

Nel’s new Chief Technology Officer, Marius Løken, has been a passionate sailor since he was seven. As the new captain of Nel’s technology ship he is committed to navigating the company toward technology leadership. 

“I have been in love with sailing since my father introduced me to the sport when I was a little kid. To me, regatta sailing is the perfect form of relaxation. You must concentrate 100 percent on the tasks on board, and then the world around disappears,” says Løken.

He smiles when asked if there are any similarities between sailing and business development.

“Well, the wind is changing fast in the hydrogen industry too. We must pick up wind and sail the boat as fast as possible. But speed is irrelevant if we’re heading in the wrong direction.”

Marius Løken is the new CTO at Nel Hydrogen

"As our industry rapidly evolves and becomes more professionalized, we too must evolve."

Deep hydrogen knowledge

After only a few weeks in the company, Løken says he sees a highly knowledgeable organization with much expertise. 

“Throughout the organization, I have encountered numerous inspired and capable individuals who deeply believe in Nel and our current positioning.” 

Løken underlines the importance of not taking this position for granted but instead thinking of it as a borrowed one that is being challenged daily. 

“As our industry rapidly evolves and becomes more professionalized, we too must evolve. We are engaged in a never-ending battle within an increasingly competitive industry. Such challenges energize me and were one of the primary reasons for my decision to join the Nel team.”

Løken has been a passionate sailor since he was seven.

A straight shooter

Løken has extensive leadership experience from TOMRA, a Norwegian-based company with international success as a leading supplier of recycling machines. During his 23 years at TOMRA, Løken lived one year in Germany and five in China. He held many leadership positions, including heading Technology, consisting of R&D, project management, product management, marketing and test & verification. More recently he was responsible for the company’s growth markets, averaging 34 % year on year growth over the last seven years. 

“As a leader, I see myself as an advocate for Nel, committed to serving the organization beyond the confines of my direct reports and teams. As the CTO, my team and I carry the responsibility for ensuring long-term technology leadership while maximizing the value derived from Nel’s current offerings and platforms.”

He is known as a straight shooter, a leader who encourages coworkers to speak their minds.

“I don’t want a team where everybody agrees about everything. I expect my teammates to speak up when they have opposing views and be loyal when decisions are made.”

"In our case, what is good for profitability is also good for the planet."

Part of the solution

Løken is married with two kids, twins, a boy, and a girl, 13 years old. Around the dinner table, they often discuss social issues, also how to deal with the climate crisis.

“We all have a responsibility to help reduce climate emissions. This is a responsibility we have towards the generations coming after us. I have worked with technologies that are part of the solution all my professional life. Now I am joining a company with an even greater positive impact, which is very motivating.”

As the captain of Nel’s technology ship, he clearly knows where the company is heading.

“We are developing a green industrial adventure, developing the world’s most efficient and reliable hydrogen technology. I cannot think of anything more exciting than that.”

“With the bigger, better, focused strategy, we are taking the fastest route towards large-scale electrolyser leadership and profitability. In our case, what is good for profitability is also good for the planet” he says.

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