Halla Tomasdottir (Iceland)
CEO for The B Team
Halla Tómasdóttir, former Presidential candidate of Iceland, a successful entrepreneur and an advocate for principled leadership and gender balance, will be joining the B Team organisation as CEO effective August 2018. The B Team is a not-for-profit initiative formed by a global group of business leaders to catalyse a better way of doing business, for the wellbeing of people and the planet.
Halla is an experienced leader, entrepreneur, board director and investor who has worked in the US, UK and across the Nordics. She is sought after as an international keynote speaker, thought leader and change catalyst. She has delivered keynotes and participated in panel discussions for international corporations and conferences including TED, Clinton Global Initiative, Women of the World, Skoll Forum, Women's Forum, Rockefeller University, Cisco, Pfizer, GE, Nasdaq, and IESE Business School.
Halla started her career in corporate America working for Mars and Pepsi Cola. She was a member of the founding team of Reykjavík University where she established the Executive Education Department and was an assistant professor at the Business School. She was the first female CEO of the Iceland Chamber of Commerce and has served on for-profit and non-profit boards in education, healthcare, finance and consumer products.
Halla led a successful women entrepreneurship and empowerment initiative (Auður í krafti kvenna), and later founded Auður Capital, an investment firm that focused on incorporating feminine values into finance. Auður Capital survived the infamous financial meltdown in 2008 in tact. Halla was a founding member of the National Assembly held in Iceland in the wake of its collapse, where a random sample of the Icelandic nation discussed its values and vision for the future. She also founded and chaired WE 2015, a global dialogue on closing the gender gap.
In 2016 Halla was a Presidential candidate in Iceland. The elections were held on June 25th 2016 and Halla was the runner-up with nearly a third of the vote. An impressive finish as only 45 days before, the polls had her at 1%. Following the elections, the New Yorker had this to say about her: "Halla was not just sincere-looking for a politician. She was the most sincere-looking human being I have ever seen, a living emoji of sincerity: her head gently tilted to one side, her face a perfect equation of warm smile and worried, caring expression."
Halla was born in Iceland on October 11, 1968. She lives with her husband and two children in Kopavogur, the municipality where she was raised but she travels the world for her work. She has an international MBA degree and speaks five languages. She was chosen business woman of the year in Iceland in 2007 and in 2008 she received the equality award from her hometown. In 2009 she received the Cartier Award for European Women Entrepreneurship and in 2010 Newsweek named her to a list of 150 women who "shake the world".