Kimmo Laaksonen has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management positions in many different fields.
Finland He has been elected CEO of the Information Office Kimmo Laaksonen. BTI’s Board of Directors decided on the appointment on Friday.
Laaksonen has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management positions in many different fields. He became acquainted with the media industry when he served as CEO of Kärkimedia from 2010 to 2015.
Laaksonen will start at BTI at the beginning of December. He will replace as CEO Kimmo Pietisen, who announced in August that he would resign according to the originally agreed timetable. Pietinen became STT’s CEO in the second autumn of the year with the aim of stabilizing the company’s finances after the change of ownership.
STT’s largest owner is Sanoma Media Finland, which owns 75.4 percent of the company.
“Kimmo Laaksonen is a strong business expert with a very extensive network in the media and a good view of the management of the expert organization and sales development,” Chairman of the Board of STT Petteri Putkiranta describes.
Based in Turku Laaksonen, 52, has a master’s degree in engineering and has four children and two grandchildren.
During his career, he has held management positions at Ericsson and Elisa, among others. Most recently, until February, he was the CEO of RST-Team, which produces process piping. The search for STT’s CEO immediately aroused his interest.
“I’ve seen many divisions, but the media market is most characteristic ours, then we were on the side of the customers or the publisher side,” Laaksonen says.
“Considering STT’s role and importance as one of the oldest news agencies in the world, I want to be doing my best to ensure that the company continues to do well and continue to do well with high-quality customer needs.”
Like on many other domestic commercial media, STT’s recent years have been overshadowed by financial difficulties. Over the past couple of years, the economic situation has improved somewhat, but STT’s news business is still heavily loss-making.
Last year, a one-off state aid of EUR 1.5 million was granted to BTI. Support was originally planned for this year as well, with an additional € 2.5 million in national news agency support in the June supplementary budget.
However, in October it became clear that the Ministry of Transport and Communications withdrew from submitting the aid because it did not believe that BTI’s business would become profitable.
Laaksonen has not yet delved deeper into STT’s financial figures, but knows the problems the company is facing. When he starts as CEO, he wants to be the first to get to know the company’s customer base and see what’s new on that side and how to get more out of it in terms of sales. He believes there is potential for new customers.
Then in front is According to Laaksonen, sell-side footwork.
“Usually, if a company has problems, the easy way is to get out of there through cost. A much more sustainable and longer-lasting solution comes from putting sales in order. ”
Laaksonen said when he got to know the company that he was surprised by how comprehensive STT’s offer is for various services and products. In addition to the basic news service and the photo agency Lehtikuva, STT also includes STT Viestintäpalvelut, which has made a profit.
Laaksonen says he brings sales expertise to STT and feels that he has a lot to contribute to the development of the company.
“Here’s something new to learn, and then at the same time, there are quite a few things I feel that I bring with me and that the company would benefit from.”
Laaksonen describes BTI as a unique company and says that high-quality journalism is essential for society as a whole. Through his previous career, he is well aware of the difficulties the media has caused in the industry, but says he believes the need for good content is not disappearing.
“The most important thing is that good, quality content doesn’t die. Especially at this time when certain channels are shouting fake news more than anything makes sense. ”
Helsingin Sanomat is part of Sanoma Media Finland.