Nokia, Finland — Hille Korhonen, president and CEO of Nokian Tyres plc since 2017, has stepped down and has been replaced by Jukka Moisio, former president and CEO of global packaging company Huhtamäki Oyj.
In a statement issued at 10:00pm on 26 May, Nokian said the appointment came into effect as of 27 May.
During her three years as Nokian's top executive, Korhonen presided over an ambitious expansion programme that has yielded a factory in the US and a tire proving grounds in Spain, which collectively represent nearly €360 million in investments.
Korhonen, 59, did not comment publicly on her reasons for stepping down.
Moisio, 59, is described as having a "strong background" in leading international companies. He was Huhtamaki's top executive for 11 years (through April 2019) and prior to that was president and CEO of Ahlstrom Oyi for four years.
According to Nokian Chairman Jukka Hienonen, Moisio "has a proven record in successfully leading stock listed companies and company turnarounds, delivering strong financial performance and shareholder returns" and has the "experience and capabilities to lead the company to its next phase of development."
He also has a "deep understanding" of the markets in Central Europe and North America, Hienonen said, which are key growth markets for Nokian.
Moisio called Nokian a "great company with fantastic products, a valued brand and leading position in its home markets and a lot of opportunities for development.”
Korhonen was named president and CEO in March 2017, joining Nokian at that time to fill a post vacated in late 2016 by Ari Lehtoranta. She had been a Nokian board member at that time for 11 years.
Prior to joining Nokian, she was CEO of beverages producer Alko Oy.
"Hille Korhonen has had an important role in building Nokian Tyres, first as a member of the board and during the past three years as president and CEO," Hienonen said.
"These past years have been characterised by an intensive investment phase, during which the company has built a factory in the US, as part of the target to double Nokian Tyres sales in North America."
Moisio joins Nokian in the midst of the company's efforts to deal with the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
For the quarter ended 31 March, Nokian reported double-digit declines in both sales and profits, due mainly to Covid-19 pandemic and lower volumes in Russia.
Operating profit fell 71% to €16.3 million during the first three months of the year on 16.5% lower sales of €280 million, Nokian announced 5 May.
The Finnish tire maker linked lower sales to measures taken to reduce its high carry-over stocks in Russia, low demand caused by Covid-19 and a mild winter in all main markets.
Earnings were hit by a €20-million negative impact from lower volumes in Russia, and a €10-million effect from