HKScan CEO to leave company

HKScan CEO to leave company

HKScan has confirmed its CEO and president, Hannu Kottonen, will leave the Finland-based meat group.

In a statement today (20 January), HKScan said the decision was reached jointly between its board of directors and Kottonen. No reason was provided for his departure and HKScan did not respond to requests for further comment. 

Kottonen assumed the helm at HKScan in 2012. Under his leadership the group embarked on an overhaul designed to improve profitability by cutting costs and focusing on higher margin branded products. The company has increased investment in branding and expanded into new markets – such as Asia – while working to reduce production costs. 

Results have been somewhat mixed. In its most recent financial update, released in November, HKScan stressed results had "stabilised" in the third quarter, with operating profit flat in the three months. However, in the year-to-date operating profit fell to EUR10.2m (US$11.2m) in the nine months to the end of September, down from EUR48.3m last year.

The board of directors will "immediately initiate the application process" for a new CEO, HKScan said. In the interim, Aki Laiho, deputy CEO and COO, will temporarily assume the position of CEO.

"On behalf of the board of directors and myself, I would like to thank Hannu Kottonen and wish him every success in the future," chairman Mikko Nikula said.