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Suominen splits nonwovens business

September 30, 2013

Suominen Corporation has reshaped its corporate and management structure and reorganized its operations. Through the changes, Suominen says it aims to achieve a more focused, transparent and agile operating model, which enables the company to further strengthen its ability to generate new business.

“Reshaping the structure and operating model is an essential and at the same time logical step in the strategic path we have chosen. To implement our strategy, and particularly its “In the Lead” cornerstone, a significant change in our way of working is required," says Nina Kopola, president and CEO of Suominen Corporation. "Among other important objectives, we seek to speed up our capability to create new business and launch new products with higher value add to the market. With the more focused and customer derived operating model, we further enhance our ability to cater for specific customer needs and thereby accelerate both our own and our customers’ business; and ultimately improve our profitability."

Suominen’s largest business unit, Nonwovens, will be divided into two new business areas, Convenience and Care, as of Jan. 1, 2014.

Convenience business area will focus on serving customers in wiping, travel and catering businesses. Based on 2012 sales, the annual net sales of Convenience were approximately €322 million. Care business area will focus on customers in medical and hygiene businesses. Based on 2012 sales, the annual net sales of Care were approximately €36 million. Both Convenience and Care will be reported under Nonwovens segment.

Suominen’s other business unit, Flexibles, has been restructured and will focus on four businesses: bread packaging, tissue wrapping, retail carrier bags and special products. Flexibles business area continues to be reported under Flexibles segment. The net sales of Flexibles were €53 million in 2012.

The structural changes will have an impact on Suominen’s management model and to the composition of the corporate executive team of Suominen, whose primary task is to support the president and CEO in her responsibilities. As of Jan. 1, 2014, the corporate executive team will include the following members:

• Nina Kopola, president and CEO, and senior vice president, Care (acting); chairman of the corporate executive team

• Tapio Engström, senior vice president, CFO

• Timo Hiekkaranta, senior vice president, Convenience; new member

• Olli Juvonen, senior vice president, Flexibles

• Larry Kinn, senior vice president, operations North America; new member

• Mimoun Saim, senior vice president, operations Europe and sourcing (acting); new member

• Hannu Sivula, senior vice president, human resources

The new members of the corporate executive team all have a long and versatile experience in the nonwovens business and are promoted from within the current Suominen Nonwovens business unit. Timo Hiekkaranta acts currently as the vice president, sales. Mimoun Saim acts as the vice president, operations Europe and sourcing, and Larry Kinn as vice president, operations Americas and HSE.

A new body in the Suominen management model is the corporate leadership team, which will act as Jan. 1, 2014 as an extended management team supporting president and CEO in the execution of strategic programs and creating functional expertise. In addition to the members of the corporate executive team, the corporate leadership team will include the following persons:

• Anu Heinonen, vice president, corporate communications and investor relations

• Margareta Huldén, vice president, R&D

• Roberto Pedoja, vice president, technology

• Timo Rautakorpi, vice president, CIO

• Saara Söderberg, vice president, marketing and product management

The members of the corporate leadership team will report to Nina Kopola, president and CEO.

In accordance with the company’s plans, Jean-Marie Becker would step aside as executive vice president of Suominen Nonwovens and would, consequently, no longer be a member of the corporate leadership team as of Jan. 1, 2014. Suominen has already presented Jean-Marie Becker new alternatives for his future career within the company.