Susan Duinhoven, CEO of Sanoma, which publishes Helsingin Sanomat, has also piloted the media company’s declining earnings from a spiral to a multiplication of the share price.
Sanoman managing director Susan Duinhoven receives the Transformation Director of the Year award, which is being presented for the second time in Finland by the consulting company Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
The purpose of the recognition is to highlight leaders who have been particularly successful in change management. The final selection has been made by a panel of experts based on the BCG candidate list.
The Dutchman Duinhoven started Sanoma as CEO in October 2015. In that year, the company made a loss of EUR 158 million with a turnover of EUR 1.7 billion. BCG describes that Sanoma was in a difficult situation when Duinhoven started and the result had been falling for a long time.
Last year, Sanoma ‘s net sales were EUR 913 million, but in October, the company said turnover will increase again to more than one billion euros this year.
BCG mentions that under Duinhoven, Sanoma has taken a step “mainly from a media company to a learning and media company, which has proven to be a successful strategy”.
During Duinhoven, the value of Sanoma’s share has increased by more than 280 percent from EUR 3.22 to Wednesday’s closing price of EUR 12.28. The value has also risen during the interest rate crisis.
Sanoma has also made many acquisitions as both a buyer and a seller. This year, Sanoma has bought Alma Media’s regional newspapers and stated that he was acquiring primary and secondary education in Spain Santillana Spain, publisher of educational materials.
The choice According to the jury, Duinhoven’s choice is justified, among other things, by the fact that he has found new markets for Sanoma that are naturally suitable for the company in an industry that has been in a state of transition throughout the 21st century. The jury describes Sanoma’s strategy as bold, innovative and agile to adapt to change.
“Duinhoven has succeeded in leading Sanoma’s growth by, among other things, finding new markets that are naturally suitable for the company, such as the growth of the digital media subscription business, the expansion of the learning business and the consolidation of the traditional media business. Contrary to industry trends, for example, Helsingin Sanomat has succeeded in increasing its subscriber numbers in recent years, ”the jury explains.
The panel of experts included the supervisor of Kauppalehti Option Jenny Jännäri, Financial Management Manager Juhana Rossi and founder, CEO of analysis company Inderes Mikael Rautanen. The chairman of the jury was the Nordic director of BCG Tuukka Seppä.
Duinhoven according to the focus of change management is putting the customer first in all thinking.
“This is supported by continuous data collection on the direction in which customer needs are evolving and rapid and agile action based on this information,” Duinhoven says in a BCG press release.
Prior to Sanoma, Duinhoven worked for Koninklijke Wegener as President and CEO and Chairman of the Management Team. Previously, he worked as CEO of Thomas Cook’s Western European Operations.
His work history also includes, for example, Selected Pieces as well as McKinsey and Unilever.
The BCG postponed the award due to the coronary pandemic from March to October 2020. Nominees were collected before March.