Executive Team

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Pasi Laine

President and CEO

Valmet shareholding: 177,137 shares

born 1963

MSc. (Eng.)

Finnish citizen

Pasi Laine is the President and CEO of Valmet Oyj since 2014. Laine was a member of the Executive Team of Metso from 2006 to 2013. From December 2011 to December 2013 he was the President of Metso Pulp, Paper and Power. From 2011 until October 2013 Pasi Laine was Metso’s Executive Vice President, and Deputy to the CEO. He was the President of Paper and Fiber Technology in 2011, the President of Energy and Environmental Technology segment between 2008 and 2011, the President of Metso Automation between 2006 and 2011 and the President of Metso Automation’s Field Systems business line between 2003 and 2006. Laine has also served as the Senior Vice President of Metso Automation’s Pulp and Paper Automation Solutions business unit between 2002 and 2003 and the Vice President of the Process & Energy business unit between 1998 and 2002. Laine acted as the Managing Director of Elsag Bailey Hartmann & Braun Oy between 1996 and 1998 and held various positions at Valmet Automation in Finland, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom between 1988 and 1996. He is Chairman of the Board at Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company and Vice Chairman of Konecranes Plc. Pasi Laine holds a Master of Science degree in Engineering.

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Aki Niemi

Business Line President, Services

Valmet shareholding: 63,222 shares

born 1969

MSc. (Eng.)

Finnish citizen

Aki Niemi leads Valmet's Services business line since 2017. He was the Area President of China at Valmet from 2013 to 2017 and the Area President of China of Metso Pulp, Paper and Power in 2013. Niemi was the Vice President of Operations of China of Metso Pulp, Paper and Power between 2011 and 2013. Prior to that, he was the General Manager of Onsite operations of Metso’s Paper and Board Machine business unit between 2007 and 2011 and the Manager of Process Start-ups of Metso’s Paper and Board business line between 2003 and 2007. Niemi acted as the Senior Manager of Metso’s Paper Technology between 1997 and 2003 and Customer Service Engineer at Valmet Corporation between 1994 and 1997. Aki Niemi holds a Master of Science degree in Engineering.

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Simo Sääskilahti

Business Line President, Flow Control

Valmet shareholding: 1,437 shares 

born: 1971

M.Sc. (Eng.), M.Sc. (Econ.)

Finnish citizen

Simo Sääskilahti leads Valmet’s Flow Control business line since 2022. He was Neles Corporation’s Interim President and CEO in 2022 and CFO and Deputy to CEO in 2020–2022. He served as Senior Vice President, Valve Technologies/Valve Equipment unit in Valves Business Area in Metso Oyj in 2016–2019. He was Senior Vice President, Strategy and Business Development in Metso Oyj in 2013–2016 and Vice President, Business Development Automation in Metso Oyj in 2011–2013. Prior to that, held several management positions in Comptel Corporation in 2001–2011 and was Management Consultant in McKinsey & Co in 1997–2001. Simo Sääskilahti holds a Master of Science degree in Engineering and Economics.

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Sami Riekkola

Business Line President, Pulp and Energy

Valmet shareholding: 16,433 shares

born 1974

MSc. (Eng.)

Finnish citizen

Sami Riekkola leads Valmet’s Pulp and Energy business line. He was President, Automation Systems business line at Valmet between 2018 and 2022. Sami Riekkola was Vice President of Energy and Process Systems in 2018 and Vice President, Central and Southern EMEA, Automation Business Line between 2015 and 2018. Sami Riekkola has a long career in the automation business at Valmet and Metso since 1998: Vice President Automation, Sales, Central Eastern Europe 2013–2015, Director, Machine Vision Product Group 2010–2013, Engineering Manager 2006–2010, Product Manager Profilers & Quality Management Systems 2004–2006, Senior Customer Service Engineer, Australia and New Zealand 2003–2004, and Project Engineer 1998–2003. Sami Riekkola holds a Master of Science degree in Engineering, Automation Technologies.

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Jari Vähäpesola

Business Line President, Paper

Valmet shareholding: 61,348 shares

born 1959

M.Sc. (Eng.)
Diploma in International Marketing Management

Finnish citizen

Jari Vähäpesola leads Valmet’s Paper business line since 2014. He was the President of Paper business line of Metso Pulp, Paper and Power from 2011 to 2013. Vähäpesola was the Senior Vice President of Paper Machines and Finishing business units in 2011, the Senior Vice President of Paper Machines business unit between 2008 and 2011 and the Senior Vice President of Service business unit between 2007 and 2008. He was the President of Service business line between 2006 and 2007 as well as the Senior Vice President of Services between 2004 and 2005 and the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing between 2002 and 2004. Vähäpesola was the Managing Director of Metso Paper Limited, UK between 2000 and 2001. Prior to that he held various positions in Valmet Corporation in Finland and USA including the Vice President and General Manager of Valmet Rautpohja Service Center and the Manager, Technical Sales in Valmet-Appleton, Inc. Service Center between 1987 and 1999. Jari Vähäpesola holds a Master of Science degree in Engineering and a Diploma in International Marketing Management.

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Jukka Tiitinen

Area President, North America

Valmet shareholding: 94,330 shares

born 1965

M.Sc. (Eng.)

Finnish and US citizen

Jukka Tiitinen leads Valmet's North America area organization since 2021. He lead Valmet’s Asia Pacific area organization from 2017 to 2021. He was Business Line President of Valmet’s Services business line from 2013 to 2017 and the President of the Services business line of Metso Pulp, Paper and Power from 2011 to 2013. Prior to that Tiitinen was the President of Metso Paper, Inc. North America between 2004 and 2011 and the President of Metso Paper, Oy’s Service business line between 2001 and 2004. Earlier Tiitinen was the Vice President of Roll Services of North America business unit at Metso Paper USA Inc./Valmet Inc. between 2000 and 2001. He has held various management positions in Valmet Corporation and Metso in North America, Australia, Finland and Thailand. Jukka Tiitinen holds a Master of Science degree in Engineering.

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Celso Tacla

Area President, South America

Valmet shareholding: 94,129 shares

born 1964

MBA
Production Engineer
Chemical Engineer

Brazilian citizen

Celso Tacla leads Valmet’s South America area organization since 2014. He was South America Area President for Metso’s Pulp, Paper and Power from 2011 to 2013. Prior to that he was President of Metso Paper South America 2008–2011 and Power business line Director 2007–2008. He has also served as Director of Power business line at Kvaerner do Brasil between 2004 and 2007, and in different positions at Kvaerner Pulping: Commercial Manager 2000–2004 and Sales Manager from 1994 to 2000. In addition, Tacla was Sales Manager at Gotaverken Energy do Brasil 1992–1994. Previously he held various positions at Cocelpa Cia de Celulose e Papel do Paraná 1986–1992. Tacla is a member of the Board of Directors at Brazilian Technical Association of Pulp and Paper (ABTCP) and also at the Brazilian Association for the Machinery and Equipment Industry, PR Regional Office (ABIMAQ/SINDIMAQ-PR). Celso Tacla holds a Master of Business Administration degree and is Production engineer and Chemical engineer.

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Vesa Simola

Area President, EMEA

Valmet shareholding: 52,971 shares

born 1967

M.Sc. (Eng.)

Finnish citizen

Vesa Simola leads Valmet’s EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) area organization since 2015. Prior to that he was employed as Senior Vice President of the Consumer Board Division at Stora Enso 2012–2015. Vesa Simola has worked in many different management positions at Stora Enso: Senior Vice President, Liquid and Food Service Board Business Unit 2008–2012, Vice President, Food Service Boards and Fresh Liquid Packaging Boards 2006–2008, Sales Manager/ Director, Liquid Packaging Board 1999–2006, and Production Manager, Tainionkoski Mill 1998–1999. He worked as Production Manager, Heinola Fluting Mill at Enso Oy 1995–1998 and as R&D Engineer at Keräyskuitu Oy 1993–1995. Vesa Simola holds a Master of Science degree in Engineering.

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Xiangdong Zhu

Area President, China

Valmet shareholding: 30,617 shares

born 1967

B.Sc. (Eng.)
MBA

Chinese citizen

Xiangdong Zhu leads Valmet's China area since 2017. He was Vice President, Services, China at Valmet from 2013 to 2017. Prior to that Zhu was employed as Vice President, Automation at Voith Paper China 2011–2012 and Vice President, Capital Sales and Application at Voith Paper China 2012–2013. Xiangdong Zhu has worked in many management positions at Valmet Automation in China: Country Manager 2007–2011, Sales Director 2004–2006 and Sales Manager 1998–2003. He worked as Department Manager, Automation and Electrification at Stora Enso (Suzhou) Paper Co. Ltd 1992–1998 and as Engineer in Suzhou Signal and Communication Department of Shanghai Railway Bureau 1989–1992. Xiangdong Zhu holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Automation and Master of Business Administration degree (MBA).

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Petri Paukkunen

Area President, Asia Pacific

Valmet shareholding: 8,418 shares

born 1966

B.Sc., (Eng.)

Finnish citizen

Petri Paukkunen leads Valmet’s Asia Pacific area organization since 2021. Previously he worked as Vice President, Board and Paper Mills business unit in Valmet’s Paper Business Line. He was Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Board and Paper Mills business unit in Valmet’s Paper business line from 2012 to 2018, Vice President, Finishing rebuild in Metso Paper from 2009 to 2012, General Manager, Winder business in Metso Paper from 2007 to 2008, and General Manager, Roll finishing system sales in Metso Paper from 2004 to 2007. From 1991 to 2004 Petri Paukkunen worked in different process specialist and manager positions in Metso and Valmet in Finland and in the USA. He was a member of the Board of Directors at Allimand Group 2012–2021 and a member of the Board in the Finnish Forest Products Engineers association 2012–2019. Petri Paukkunen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Paper Engineering.

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Katri Hokkanen

CFO

Valmet shareholding: 5,598 shares

born 1981

M.Sc (Economics)

Finnish citizen

Katri Hokkanen is Valmet's CFO since August 1, 2022. Before taking over as CFO, she served as interim CFO from May 1 to July 31, 2022. Prior to that, she was Vice President, Finance of Valmet’s Pulp and Energy business line between 2017 and 2022. Hokkanen was the Head of Finance, Asia Pacific at Valmet between 2015 and 2017 and Manager, Finance of EMEA services business at Valmet between 2013 and 2015. Hokkanen was Business Controller, Services of Metso Paper Inc. between 2011–2013 and Assistant Business Controller of Metso Paper Inc. between 2008–2011. She was Accountant and Senior Accountant of Metso’s Shared Services between 2006–2008. Katri Hokkanen holds a Master of Science degree in Economics.

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Julia Macharey

Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Operational Development

Valmet shareholding: 38,319 shares

born 1977

M.Sc. (Econ.)
B.A. (Intercultural Communication)

Finnish citizen

Julia Macharey leads Valmet’s Human Resources since 2014 and Operational Development since 2019. She was the Senior Vice President of Human Resources of Metso Pulp, Paper and Power from 2012 to 2013. Macharey was the Vice President of Human Resources of Pöyry Plc’s Industry Business Group between 2007 and 2012. Prior to that, she was the Senior Manager of Business HR of Nokia Corporation’s Manufacturing Solutions between 2006 and 2007 and the Senior Manager of Business HR of Nokia Corporation’s Sourcing and Procurement between 2004 and 2006. Macharey served as HR Manager of Team-based work systems at SCA Hygiene Products Ltd between 2002 and 2004, HR Manager at SCA Hygiene Products GmbH between 2001 and 2002 and HR Trainee at SCA Hygiene Products GmbH between 2000 and 2001. Julia Macharey holds a Master of Science degree in Economics and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Intercultural Communication.

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Anu Salonsaari-Posti

Senior Vice President, Marketing, Communications, Sustainability and Corporate Relations

Valmet shareholding: 31,350 shares

born 1968

M.Sc. (Econ.)
MBA

Finnish citizen

Anu Salonsaari-Posti leads Valmet’s Marketing, Communications, Sustainability and Corporate Relations since 2014. She was the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications of Metso Pulp, Paper and Power in 2013. Salonsaari-Posti was the Vice President of Group Communications of Metsä Group between 2010 and 2013. Prior to that, she was the Head of Communications and Sustainability of Heat Division of Fortum Corporation between 2009 and 2010 and the Vice President of Communications and Marketing of Fortum Power and Heat Oy between 1999 and 2009. Salonsaari-Posti held various positions at Imatran Voima Oy, including Marketing and Communications Manager between 1997 and 1998, Marketing Manager between 1995 and 1997 and Marketing Planner between 1994 and 1995. Anu Salonsaari-Posti holds a Master of Science degree in Economics and Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.