Taavi Heikkilä

CEO of SOK steps down

Taavi Heikkilä, CEO of SOK, has decided to resign from his post. The search for a successor starts immediately.


“My decision is based on long and careful consideration. Over the past seven years, we have as a retail group achieved all the goals I set when I started. Today we are able to offer more competitive services to our co-op members and we were able to turn the central company SOK’s losses into a clear profit, while at the same time doubling the entire S Group’s business result”, Heikkilä says.

According to Heikkilä, the exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus is a natural transitional point for a change of leadership.

“A new CEO is now needed, someone who is committed to piloting S Group for the next decade. I am proud of the great work of our staff, both in the cooperatives and in SOK. I am more grateful to S Group than I could ever have imagined since I joined as a trainee supervisor in 1987”.

Heikkilä is not actively seeking a CEO position outside the company, but neither does he plan to retire completely from business life.

“With the experience I have gained, I believe I can help startups in the role of “sparring partner”, and positions on the boards of larger companies are also possible. I find it extremely important that in the future I will be able to devote more time to my family”.

Heikkilä’s announcement came as a surprise to the chairman of the supervisory board of SOK, Matti Pikkarainen.

“I must say I am surprised by Taavi’s announcement, but at the same time I understand his point of view. Thirty-three years in managerial positions in the group, with the last seven in the demanding position of CEO, is a long time and a major contribution to the cooperative group. Although cooperative operations do not depend on the success of any one person, Taavi Heikkilä’s time as CEO marks a significant era in the history of S Group. We are grateful for the significant positive changes that were made during his time as CEO”, Pikkarainen says.

The search for a new CEO will start immediately. The aim is for Heikkilä’s successor to take up the position in early 2021. The search process will be led by Pikkarainen as chairman of the supervisory board. Taavi Heikkilä will continue as CEO and chairman of the board until his successor has been chosen and is ready to begin work.

More information:

Taavi Heikkilä, CEO of SOK, tel. +358 10 76 80200

Matti Pikkarainen, chair of the management board of SOK, tel. +358 44 788 4087

Photos: SOK

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