Rapala VMC appoint new President & CEO following ‘depressed’ sales
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Immediately after reporting what it described as depressed sales for the first six months of 2016, Rapala VMC Corporation announced changes to its Board of Directors, including the appointment of a new President and CEO.
The Finnish lure giant, which revealed an 18% drop in operating profit for the first six months of the year, announced that Jussi Ristimäki, appointed joint CEO in November last year, will take over the top role at the Group.
He will replace Jorma Kasslin, who will become Executive Chairman of the Board.
The reshuffle, effective from September 1 this year, is part of a raft of changes at the top of the management structure of the Helsinki-based organisation and follows a profit warning which was issued ahead of its first half of the year results.
Ristimäki, the former Chief Financial Officer of Rapala VMC, will be responsible for operative leadership of the group and implementation of the decisions made by the Board.
In his new role, Kasslin, who joined the Board of Rapala in 1989, will work alongside Ristimäki on the preparation of strategic and other matters of wider impact, supporting the implementation of the strategy and other duties as assigned by the Board.
Net sales for the first half of the year were €143.1 million –7% down from the €154 million for the same period last year. In his final presentation to investors, Kasslin said several of its big markets, including Europe and North America, had experienced challenging trading conditions. “The first quarter was slower than last year and we were not able to bridge the gap during the second quarter as was expected.
“The outlook for the whole year is now more depressed than earlier. While the slowdown in sales in western markets is considered temporary, we can’t reach last year’s results and it is difficult to accurately estimate the future developments in these big markets”
Other Board changes announced on Friday following the Q2 presentation include the appointment of Cyrille Viellard as head of the Group’s distribution in Europe – excluding Russia – and Latin America, He will continue the coordination of Rapala’s distribution partnership with Shimano in Europe and also be responsible for supply chain management of the European distribution operations.
In addition to his current role as Head of Accessory and Outdoor Business and distribution in Asia, Pacific and Middle East, Lars Ollberg will oversee the Group’s global innovations as well as distribution in South Africa.
Stanilas de Castelnau has been appointed as Head of Manufacturing Operations and Global Supply Chain Development. He will also maintain the role of the head of the hook and carp business unit.
Executive Committee members and their responsibilities are:
- Jussi Ristimäki: President and Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Executive Committee
- Olli Aho: Company Counsel and Investor Relations
- Stanilas de Castelnau: Head of Manufacturing Operations and Global Supply Chain Development and head of the hook and carp business unit
- Tom Mackin: Head of distribution and brands in North America
- Lars Ollberg: Head of Accessory and Outdoor Business and distribution in Asia, Pacific, Middle East and South Africa and global coordination of group innovations
- Juhani Pehkonen: Head of Lure Manufacturing
- Victor Skvortsov: Head of distribution in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan
- Aku Valta: International (excluding North America) lure sales, marketing, brands and communication
- Cyrille Viellard: Head of distribution in Europe and Latin America and Shimano partnership coordination.
Ristimäki’s previous responsibilities as Chief Financial Officer will be shared between Anu Koskinen and Jan-Elof Cavander, who have been appointed Senior Vice Presidents.