Aarno Heinonen, who has been in charge of the Group's administration and finance since SanomaWSOY was founded, is retiring in the beginning of April. His chosen successor is Matti Salmi, who has served in corresponding duties at Rautakirja for a long time.
Matti Salmi has worked for the SanomaWSOY Group or near it for many years. He became Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration in 1988 for Rautakirja, which was founded and owned by Sanoma and WSOY. In 1999 Rautakirja became a subsidiary of SanomaWSOY and in 2003 it became a wholly owned division.
As Matti Salmi says himself, he doesn't feel he is leaving anything behind: Rautakirja is a vital part of SanomaWSOY. The prospect of new duties ahead are inspiring on the whole.
There are new challenges and a broad perspective ahead of me. Naturally the change will also mean a lot of new things to learn, but I will have the support of SanomaWSOY's skilled organisation. High professional skills are characteristic of the entire Group and all our divisions, Salmi says.
SanomaWSOY is an extremely interesting Group. It has been and still is in quite a transformation. Growth and internationalisation are a challenge to us all, but at the same time they make SanomaWSOY even more interesting.
Finance supports business
In this connection, the parent company functions will be reorganised, and the restructuring will continue. Finance, HR, and IR and Group Communications will report to Mr Salmi. The real estate unit will start reporting to Senior Vice President, Group Treasury and Asset Management.
The finance side Salmi describes as primarily a business-support function which should be more forward-looking instead of just peering in the rear-view mirror. - This is an old cliché, but it's really true, he says with a chuckle.
Salmi mentions the changeover to international accounting principles as a challenge for the near future. - Internationalisation itself presents challenges to accounting, IAS will change it technically, he says.
SanomaWSOY's CFO also plays an important role in investor communications. Working with investors is familiar ground to Salmi from the days of Rautakirja as a public company. The constant demands for increasing transparency in financial communications is something he says must be taken seriously.
When asked about the challenges of personnel administration, Matti Salmi points to the development of internal job mobility started within SanomaWSOY, plans for which have been made and the implementation started.
- Mobility will help to foster multicultural skills. This is important in an international environment, Salmi says. - All in all, it's essential to use the Group's know-how synergies and to share expertise.
Sports and films for balance
Matti Salmi is a 53-year-old Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration. Before coming to Rautakirja he served as CFO at Suomen Tupakka Oy 1985-1988 and as Controller for British-American Tobacco Ltd (BAT) in London in 1984.
Matti Salmi tells us he keeps in shape for work through a variety of sports and outdoor pursuits. Films are naturally part of the Group's business to Salmi, but he also has a personal interest in them.
His family is comprised of his wife Seija, who works in the same line of business, a student daughter who has recently flown the nest, and a son in upper secondary school.