Konecranes and Cargotec have confirmed that Cargotec chief executive Mika Vehviläinen will head up the merged business as chief executive, while Konecranes chief executive Rob Smith will leave the company in December, after less than two years in the job - see: New CEO for Konecranes.
The decision was apparently taken by the boards of both companies with the appointment coming into force when the transaction completes, during the first half of next year. Until then both companies will continue to operate independently.
Mika Vehviläinen was appointed as Cargotec chief executive in 2013, prior to which he had held a similar position at Finnair.
Konecranes chairman Christoph Vitzthum, who will chair the merged company, said: ”Today’s announcement is a defining moment for the ‘Future Company’ and the industry as a whole, and it marks the culmination of a rigorous selection process involving the boards of both Cargotec and Konecranes. The Future Company has an ambition to become a global leader in sustainable material flow, and both boards are confident that Mika Vehviläinen, with his robust leadership and industry experience and proven track record of creating value at Cargotec and other companies, is exactly the right person for the position.”
Mika Vehviläinen added: “I am energised and excited about the potential of the Future Company, and the chance to work together with the extraordinary talent from both companies to deliver the very best for our customers and society around us in a truly sustainable way. It will be an honour and an inspiring opportunity to lead the Future Company when the first day of operations arrives, and I am thankful to the boards of both companies for their trust at this historic moment.”
After Rob Smith leaves Konecranes at the end of the year, the current chief financial officer, Teo Ottola, will take over on an interim basis through until completion.
Christoph Vitzthum said: “Rob has been a true leader for Konecranes since joining in February 2020, steering the company through the unprecedented uncertainty of the pandemic and a planned merger to deliver the best for our customers and strong financial results. The board appreciates his commitment to ensuring a smooth transition. On behalf of the whole board of Konecranes, I want to thank Rob for his contributions and hard work at the company and look forward to working with him until he leaves the company. I also wish him all the best in the future.”
Smith added: “It has been a privilege to lead Konecranes since February 2020, and I am proud of how we have come together as one global team to deliver excellent performance in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. In particular, we have focused on our strategy and strategic initiatives, and made excellent progress on these fronts as seen in our strong financial performance and our successful initial steps towards creating a global leader in sustainable material flow with Cargotec. While I have now made a personal decision to pursue opportunities outside of Konecranes, I am fully committed to Konecranes continuing its exciting track record of delivering outstanding performance for the success of our employees, customers and partners.”