took over from Stig Gustavson as president and CEO of KCI Konecranes in June this year. Forkliftaction.com News finds out more about the new chief of the global crane and forklift manufacturer that has 4,900 employees in 35 countries. (KCI Konecranes manufactures 10-60 ton (9-54 tonne) forklifts and reach stackers through SMV Konecranes.)Q. Give a brief description of your career path leading to your current position.
After obtaining a Master of Science (Engineering) degree from Helsinki University of Technology, I worked in various management positions at Nokia Corporation from 1990 to 2000, mostly in the mobile network infrastructure division. Positions included vice president, supply chain management, and senior vice president, marketing & sales. From 2002 to 2004, I was president and CEO of Hackman, a publicly-listed company in Helsinki. In August 2004, I became executive vice president of KCI Konecranes and, on June 17, 2005, president and CEO.Q. Give a brief history of your position with your current company and share with us what you like about your work.
I was appointed president and CEO when the previous CEO Stig Gustavson turned 60 and was appointed chairman of the board. KCI Konecranes is a fascinating combination of traditional and new technology, hardware, software, and services. Accounting for more than 40 per cent of our total business, maintenance services (KCI Konecranes claims to have the world's largest network of crane maintenance services) give us great insights into the daily world of materials handling and make us part of a genuine growth business. This is extremely exciting. We have a leading position in the crane industry and a great team committed to doing even better in the future.Q. What is the most amazing project you have ever worked on?
In 1990 to 1991 at Nokia I was responsible for a customer for whom we built a complete infrastructure for the world's first GSM cellular network. After an amazing project, the network was opened on schedule on July 1, 1991.Q. During your career, what notable changes have you witnessed in the materials handling industry?
Since I have not been working that long specifically in the materials handling industry, my observations are mostly linked to some earlier stages of my career. There is a major supply chain reengineering going on in retail and industrial sectors globally. The world is becoming so "demand driven" that nobody wants to keep stock any more, yet everybody expects short lead times and a large degree of flexibility in volumes, up or down. This puts major challenges on companies serving these customers. Our challenge is to develop products, technology and services that will help our customers meet the challenges.