Norway’s richest man bans staff Xmas parties

Norway's richest man bans staff Xmas parties
Kjell Inge Røkke, owner of Aker Solutions Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / SCANPIX
Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Røkke - officially Norway's richest man - has cancelled his company's Christmas parties, affecting thousands of dejected staff, it was reported on Monday.

The move by Aker Solutions, owned by Røkke, is because the firm's bosses fear the festivities would be in poor taste. Aker is set to let many staff go this year and next.

Scrapping the Christmas parties will take place across all the oil and gas company's offices in Stavanger, Ålesund, Kristiansund, Trondheim and Bergen.

The Aker offices in Aberdeen, northeast Scotland, have cancelled their Christmas party this year, "sympathy" to the hundreds of Norway people affected by the cutbacks, said the Aberdeen Press and Journal. The move is to the dismay of 2,000 staff in the Scotland branch.

Aker has blamed a decline in Norway's offshore "maintenance and modifications market" as to why hundreds of people will lose their jobs.

A spokeswomen for Aker Solutions said to the Press and Journal: “We have cancelled Christmas parties this year across the company in sympathy with employees who’ve been affected by the slowdown in the Norwegian maintenance, modifications and operations (MMO) market.”

Business magnate Kjell Inge Røkke, who has controlled Aker is Norway's richest person, with a fortune of almost 11.8 billion kroner ($1.8 billion).

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