The world’s youngest billionaire is uncertain if he will take over the reins…
“You can’t just demand to be the boss of such a big organisation. You have be suited to it. If there are alternatives, the best man or woman must get the job. There is so much at stake, values, jobs, crucial factors,” Witzøe told Dagbladet. The major newspaper has given the SalMar heir considerable coverage on its front page and column space on 13 pages.
“You have to be motivated. Not necessarily that you have to be directly educated for that purpose, but that you must have the knowledge and personal drive to run a conglomerate. You can’t just do it because you have the right. Or, you can of course do so, but it would be the height of arrogance,” he continued.
Gustav Magnar Witzøe was 19 years old when his father Gustav transferred the family fortune to him. He’s now worth a staggering $1.9 billion (£1.4 billion). Through the investment company Kverva, he and his family owns 53.4 percent of SalMar. In addition, he also invests in start-up businesses.
According to Witzøe, both his father Gustav and mother Oddny regret that he was made heir apparent at such a young age.
“They believe they should have taken more time to think it over. That’s due probably to my being shoved out into the public limelight. It was very strange at first. It makes you a bit nervous about what people think,” said Witzøe.
Just being in the public eye is a key issue in the interview. Witzøe describes himself as “a regular boy” who would like to keep things private, but who has realised he is a public person. It is also one of the main reasons why he agreed to an interview with the major newspaper – he wants to show people who he really is and not just be known for being a “rich guy”.
Witzøe explained, among other things, the importance of keeping Christmas traditions and family holidays, a family that he calls “tiny”. Even though he lives in Trondheim, Frøya is the place closest to his heart.
On his forearm he has a tattoo of his parents, illustrated as two angels above the starry sky with the text “My true heroes”.
Witzøe admits he has been incarcerated briefly. At the end of his high school days, he was arrested for overtaking another vehicle at 116 km per hour in a 60km zone. The outcome was two weeks spent in Verdal prison before Christmas in the year he turned 20 years of age.
He also spoke out about the gay rumours, partly fired by a close friendship with celebrity stylist Jan Thomas Mørch Husby, who has plans to launch Witzøe as an international model.
“Being homosexual is what one is, not what one has chosen to be. Nothing wrong with that,” he said.