S Group's governance
Finance and administration

S Group's governance


Democracy is one of the cornerstones of cooperative activities. Each co-op member can participate in S Group decision-making through their cooperative. The 19 regional cooperatives of S Group are owned by co-op members. SOK Corporation is owned by the cooperatives. SOK is a Finnish cooperative, with a cooperative meeting as its highest decision-making body.

The highest-decision making body of a regional cooperative is its Council of Representatives, which is elected every four years. All co-op members aged 15 and over are entitled to vote in the election. All members aged 18 and over can run for Council membership. The Council of Representatives elects the Supervisory Board. The Supervisory Board decides on the main policies for the activities of a cooperative and elects its Board of Directors.

In addition to its role as an administrative body, the Council of Representatives of a cooperative plays a significant role in creating extensive contacts between co-op members and the management of the cooperative. The Council of Representatives convenes in accordance with the rules of the cooperative. The most significant single issues that fall within the authority of a Council of Representatives include amendments to rules and decisions related to discontinuing or merging the cooperative.

Regional cooperative's governance

The key administrative bodies of a regional cooperative include its Council of Representatives, Supervisory Board, Board of Directors and Managing Director. The Council of Representatives exercises the highest decision-making power belonging to the owners of the regional cooperative in matters that fall within its authority in accordance with laws and regulations. A Council of Representatives elected by co-op members is not a statutory body of the cooperatives, but it replaces the function of the cooperative meeting in large cooperatives.

The Cooperatives Act does not require the setting up of a Supervisory Board, but a Supervisory Board has been set out in the rules of the cooperatives as part of the administrative model. The participation of the large number of owners in decision-making requires the extensive representation of elected officials and owners in the administration. The Supervisory Board often plays an important role in the operations of a cooperative. Its duties are particularly important with regard to monitoring. As the representative of the large number of owners in a cooperative, the Supervisory Board elects the members of the Board of Directors.

As a rule, the Board of Directors of a regional cooperative consists of the Managing Director and members elected by the Supervisory Board for one calendar year at a time. The number of the members of the Board varies by cooperative. The Managing Director usually serves as Chair of the Board in accordance with the rules of the cooperative. The Board of Directors is responsible for carefully promoting the interests of the cooperative and managing its matters in accordance with the Cooperatives Act, the rules of the cooperative, the regulations confirmed by the Supervisory Board and the instructions and decisions issued by the Council of Representatives and the Supervisory Board. The Board of Directors is responsible for ensuring that the business operations of a cooperative are successful.

A regional cooperative has a Managing Director, who is responsible for managing its operations in accordance with laws and regulations and the instructions and decisions issued by its administrative bodies.

The Council of Representatives of a cooperative elects its auditors for the following financial period based on the preparatory work carried out by the Nomination Committee.

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SOK Corporation's governance and management

S Group's business is organised in nation-wide chains. SOK Corporation, which is owned by the cooperatives, centrally provides the cooperatives with service functions.

SOK operates as the central organisation of the cooperative enterprises and provides them with procurement, expert and support services. SOK is also responsible for the strategic guidance of S Group and the development of the business chains.

SOK is a Finnish cooperative. Its decision-making is subject to the provisions of the Cooperatives Act, other regulations concerning the operations of the business areas, and SOK's Statutes. The operations of the subsidiaries are regulated by the Limited Liability Companies Act, among others, and SOK Corporation's operations are governed by the Corporation-wide principles.

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SOK's Supervisory Board

SOK's Supervisory Board 27 April 2023

  • Chairman: Timo Santavuo, Attorney, Pori
  • First vice-chairperson: Jarkko Rautaoja, Managing director, Heinola
  • Second vice-chairperson: Tapio Finér, Managing director, Lohja
  • Mikko Junttila, Managing director, Kuopio
  • Sinikka Kelhä, Attorney, Rauma
  • Sami Kettunen, Managing director, Jyväskylä
  • Mathias Kivikoski, Managing director, Espoo
  • Mikko Lassila, M.Sc., academic agronomist, Kouvola
  • Antti Latola, Attorney, Oulu
  • Martti Lokka, Managing director, Otava
  • Harri Lämsä, Managing director, Kuusamo
  • Anne Mäkelä, Attorney, Kälviä
  • Hannu Pelkonen, Managing Director, Kajaani
  • Heli Puura, Director, Helsinki
  • Timo Rajala, Master of Law, Akaa
  • Mika Rantanen, Pedagogie Magister, Kaarina
  • Kari Suninen, Managing Director, Lappeenranta
  • Elina Varamäki, Vice Principal, Seinäjoki
  • Kim Wrange, Senior Teacher, Lehmo

Personnel representatives:

  • Olli Rauste, legal counsel, Espoo. Deputy Ulla Kivilaakso, marketing manager, Helsinki
  • Iiris Jakku, administrative assistant, Helsinki Deputy Anu Akkanen, service advisor, Helsinki

The role of SOK's Supervisory Board is to represent the extensive grass-roots co-op membership and to act as a forum on which the Cooperative's joint position on major strategic issues is defined. Its duty is to determine overall policies and to safeguard the members' interests. The Supervisory Board confirms all the main strategic policies of S Group and SOK Corporation based on a proposal from the Executive Board.

SOK's Executive Board 2023

SOK's Executive Board represents the cooperative society and attends to its administration and the due arrangement of its operations within the framework of SOK Corporation and in compliance with the applicable legislation and rules. The special duty of the Executive Board is to prepare strategic decisions for presentation to the Supervisory Board, as well as to decide upon the operating plans of both SOK and its subsidiaries.

  • Chairman of the Executive Board, CEO Hannu Krook, SOK, Helsinki
  • Managing Director Kim Biskop, Osuuskauppa KPO cooperative, Kokkola
  • Managing Director Nermin Hairedin, MSc
  • Chief Digital Officer Katri Harra-Salonen, Kojamo plc.
  • Managing Director Antti Heikkinen, Pirkanmaa Cooperative Society, Tampere
  • Managing Director Juha Kivelä, Pohjois-Karjalan Osuuskauppa cooperative, Joensuu
  • Managing Director Veli-Matti Liimatainen, Helsingin Osuuskauppa Elanto cooperative, Helsinki
  • Managing Director Antti Määttä, Osuuskauppa Keskimaa cooperative, Jyväskylä

SOK's Corporate Management Team

The duties of SOK's Corporate Management Team include assisting the CEO in the management of SOK Corporation and S Group. The Management Team coordinates and prepares, among other things, key proposals to be made to the Executive Board. In addition, it discusses operational matters concerning all of SOK Corporation's areas of responsibility.

  • Hannu Krook, CEO, SOK
  • Arttu Laine, Executive Vice President, S-Group Chain Management, Procurement and Logistics
  • Jari Annala, Executive Vice President, SOK Business
  • Hanne Lehtovuori, Executive Vice President, HR
  • Sebastian Nyström, Executive Vice President, Loyalty, IT & Digital Development
  • Jorma Vehviläinen, Executive Vice President, CFO, SOK Finance and Administration
  • Päivi Anttikoski, Executive Vice President, CMO, Marketing, Communications & Sustainability
  • Maria Timgren, Executive Vice President, Strategy
  • Seppo Kuitunen, Executive Vice President, Legal Affairs

SOK Corporation's Corporate Governance

Read more about SOK Corporation's Corporate Governance and Management System from our annual review.

Sustainability management

Our corporate sustainability is guided by our values: focus on the customer, accountability, continuous renewal and profitable operations. In addition to following our values, we operate in line with the themes and guidelines of the Best Place to Live sustainability programme.

SOK’s Sustainability unit is in charge of strategic goal setting and determines the focus areas of S Group’s sustainability development. The business area-specific sustainability objectives and procedures are defined jointly with the business units and subsidiaries and the Sustainability unit.

The Sustainability unit guides and monitors implementation and reports regularly to the heads of business management, the Corporate Management Team and SOK’s Executive Board on sustainability development as part of the management system. In addition, SOK’s Executive Board approves the S Group-level sustainability principles and programme as well as the strategic policies. Policies concerning products and services are prepared jointly with the business areas. Sustainability matters are regularly discussed with regional cooperatives through internal groups and forums.

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