You could say Jostein Solheim found his sweet spot as CEO at Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. The Norwegian native assumed the audacious challenge of transitioning the iconic business known for its vision and mission to become part of a conglomerate without losing its values… A task experts said could not be done.
However, under Jostein’s tenure the company has actually increased its social mission reach. Accomplishments that he is most proud of include: becoming a certified B-Corporation, taking a stance on climate change (one of Jostein’s personal passions), demanding equality for farmers AND farm laborers both in Vermont and across the globe who are supported by the company’s Fairtrade purchases, and the active backing of GMO awareness and labeling. The company hasn’t stalled as many predicted. Instead, the business is vibrant and the campaigns stay cutting edge. Recently company actions have included establishing the pilot farms to incorporate the new Milk with Dignity standard (an innovative worker-led dairy program), deliberate action for the company to focus on internal support as well as external opportunities to continue the company’s learning journey addressing racism and implicit bias as well as committing to reducing chemical use within the company’s supply chain.
While keeping the company’s mission robust, Ben & Jerry’s has also delivered impressive business results including year after year growth, often in double digits, taking the company from 18 to 35 countries since his first day joining the company in May 2010 on Free Cone Day.
Jostein Solheim lives in Vermont with his wife, Rebecca and their family dog, Tilly. The couple have two sons. They enjoy sailing on Lake Champlain and time in New York City. Jostein’s favorite flavor is Chunky Monkey.