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New President and CEO at Rapala VMC

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Finnish fishing giant, Rapala VMC Corporation, has announced the appointment of a new President and CEO.
↑ President and CEO Jussi Ristimaki: said sales are up in North America despite ‘turbulence’.
↑ Jorma Kasslin, former President and CEO of Rapala VMC, had been appointed Executive Chairman of the Board.

Immediately after reporting today what it described as ‘depressed sales’ in its biggest markets 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 has been appointed as 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 Second Quarter 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 implentation of the strategy and other duties as assigned by the Board.

Other changes 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.



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