10 Things You Didn’t Know About Stein Erik Hagen

Stein Erik Hagen is a prominent Norwegian businessman and philanthropist, known for his success as the Chairman of the Orkla Group. With a net worth of over $3 billion, Hagen has made significant contributions to the business world and society at large. However, there are several aspects of his life and achievements that may surprise you. In this article, we will delve into ten lesser-known facts about Stein Erik Hagen.

1. A Humble Beginning

Although Hagen is now a billionaire, his early life was far from affluent. Born in 1956, Hagen grew up in a working-class family in Oslo, Norway. His parents instilled in him a strong work ethic that would become instrumental in his future success. Hagen started his career at an early age, working at his father’s small grocery store and learning the ropes of the business.

Through determination and hard work, Hagen managed to expand his family’s business, laying the foundation for his entrepreneurial journey. This humble beginning instilled in him a deep appreciation for the value of money and the importance of creating opportunities.

2. Shaping the Orkla Group

Stein Erik Hagen played a pivotal role in shaping the Orkla Group into the powerhouse it is today. He joined the company in 1982, taking over his father’s stake in the business. Hagen’s strategic vision and relentless drive for growth transformed the once local confectionery and pasta company into a diversified conglomerate operating in multiple sectors.

Under Hagen’s leadership, the Orkla Group expanded through mergers, acquisitions, and diversification of its product portfolio. The company now boasts an impressive range of brands spanning food, personal care, and home care products. Over the years, Hagen’s focus on sustainable growth and corporate social responsibility has helped solidify the Orkla Group’s position as a market leader.

3. Passion for Art and Culture

Beyond his business endeavors, Stein Erik Hagen has a deep passion for art and culture. He is an avid art collector and has amassed an impressive collection of contemporary and modern artworks. Hagen’s love for art even extends to philanthropy, as he has generously supported various cultural projects and initiatives.

One notable project that Hagen has spearheaded is the Henie Onstad Art Centre. Through his support, the art museum has been able to acquire important works, host groundbreaking exhibitions, and foster artistic talent. Hagen’s dedication to promoting art and culture highlights his belief in the transformative power of creativity and the importance of supporting the arts.

4. Philanthropic Contributions

Stein Erik Hagen has consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to philanthropy. As one of Norway’s wealthiest individuals, he actively uses his resources and influence to give back to society. Hagen has established the Canica Foundation, which focuses on improving education, healthcare, and social welfare.

Through the Canica Foundation, Hagen has invested in various initiatives to combat poverty, support higher education, and improve healthcare services. His philanthropic efforts extend beyond Norway’s borders, with significant contributions to global causes such as poverty alleviation and sustainable development.

5. A Leader in Sustainable Business

Hagen is a firm believer in the role businesses should play in building a sustainable future. Throughout his career, he has championed sustainability practices within the Orkla Group and the wider business community. Hagen firmly believes that sustainable business practices are not only crucial for the environment but also contribute to long-term profitability.

Under Hagen’s leadership, the Orkla Group has consistently been at the forefront of sustainability efforts. The company has set ambitious targets to reduce its environmental impact, promote responsible sourcing, and prioritize ethical business practices. Hagen’s commitment to sustainable business has earned him recognition and numerous awards for his contributions to corporate social responsibility.

6. Love for Outdoor Activities

Beyond his busy schedule as a businessman and philanthropist, Stein Erik Hagen finds solace in outdoor activities. He is an avid skier, spending his free time exploring the slopes and embracing the beautiful Norwegian winter landscape. Hagen’s love for the outdoors serves as a reminder to prioritize personal well-being and find balance amidst the demands of a high-powered career.

By immersing himself in nature and staying active, Hagen’s love for outdoor activities not only enhances his physical well-being but provides him with a mental respite from the pressures of daily life.

7. Business Ventures Beyond Orkla

While primarily known for his association with the Orkla Group, Hagen has also ventured into various other business sectors. He has made strategic investments in sectors such as real estate, media, and technology, broadening his business portfolio beyond the consumer goods industry.

Hagen’s diverse business interests highlight his entrepreneurial spirit and ability to identify opportunities across different industries. His investments have not only yielded financial success but have also contributed to the growth and development of the Norwegian business landscape.

8. Political Endeavors

In addition to his business and philanthropic engagements, Stein Erik Hagen has also dabbled in politics. In 2002, he founded the political party HøyrePOTETEN (The Right Potato), which campaigned for tax cuts and free-market policies. Although the party did not achieve significant success, it serves as a testament to Hagen’s passion for socio-economic issues and his willingness to make a difference beyond the business realm.

Hagen’s foray into politics demonstrates his commitment to shaping the political landscape and advocating for policies that align with his vision of a prosperous society.

9. A Family of Entrepreneurs

Stein Erik Hagen’s entrepreneurial spirit runs in the family. His daughters, Caroline and Camilla Hagen Sørby, are also active in the business world. Taking after their father, the sisters have embarked on their own entrepreneurial ventures.

Caroline Hagen Kjos, the eldest daughter, co-founded the clothing brand Tom Wood. With a focus on sustainability and timeless design, the brand has gained recognition for its commitment to quality craftsmanship. Camilla Hagen Sørby, on the other hand, is the founder of a successful skincare brand, called CAMI. Both daughters are following in their father’s footsteps, contributing to the family legacy of entrepreneurship.

10. Road to Legacy

As Stein Erik Hagen continues to make significant contributions to both the business and philanthropic realms, his legacy is already well-established. Beyond his individual success, Hagen’s impact can be seen in the community initiatives, sustainable business practices, and cultural projects he has spearheaded. His dedication to improving society and creating opportunities for others is a testament to his character and values.

Stein Erik Hagen serves as an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs and a shining example of how success can go hand in hand with philanthropy. His relentless pursuit of growth, commitment to sustainability, and passion for enriching the lives of others make him a true leader and a force for positive change.

Whether through his business ventures, philanthropic endeavors, or support for art and culture, Stein Erik Hagen leaves an indelible mark on society, inspiring others to strive for success while giving back.

Orkla Group Official Website
Canica Foundation Official Website
Henie Onstad Art Centre Official Website