Taavi Heikkilä appointed as CEO of SOK - S-ryhmä
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Taavi Heikkilä appointed as CEO of SOK

The Supervisory Board of SOK appointed Taavi Heikkilä, CEO of Osuuskauppa Hämeenmaa cooperative enterprise, as SOK's new CEO on Thursday. He will assume his position at the beginning of 2014.

19.12.2013

The Supervisory Board of SOK appointed Taavi Heikkilä, CEO of Osuuskauppa Hämeenmaa cooperative enterprise, as SOK's new CEO on Thursday. He will assume his position at the beginning of 2014.

According to Matti Pikkarainen, Chair of SOK's Supervisory Board, Taavi Heikkilä was chosen in a process involving more than thirty candidates. In addition to Heikkilä, two persons from outside S Group were involved in the final stage of the process.

"Each of the candidates who made it to the home stretch had their own strengths, which were partly overlapping. On the whole, they were quite equal, and Taavi Heikkilä's strong knowledge of different trade sectors and professional experience in S Group contributed to his selection.

Taavi Heikkilä, the new CEO, was born in 1962. He graduated as Master of Economics from the Helsinki School of Economics in 1988.

Before Osuuskauppa Hämeenmaa, Heikkilä worked as Development Director at SOK and as Managing Director of the procurement company Intrade Partners. He is also familiar with the development of financial services after working as SOK's Director of Financing in the 1990s and subsequently having been a member of the Board of Directors of S-Bank.

According to Heikkilä, S Group's absolute strength is that four out of five Finnish households are members in the strong regional cooperative enterprises. Challenges, on the other hand, arise from the strong change in the business environment.

"Regulation is gradually being lessened, international competition is increasing, and e-commerce is changing the operating methods of retailers and customers. S Group must be an active party to this development. In future, we will seek growth from our existing retail space by improving our service," Taavi Heikkilä says.

Alongside the regional character of the cooperative enterprises, Heikkilä believes that the significance of a good price/quality ratio will be increasingly highlighted, as will the requirement for transparency of operations.

"With regard to products, it means better source of origin markings and traceability of the origin, and in terms of our administration and communications, increasing openness.

 SOK's former CEO Kuisma Niemelä resigned in September. During the autumn, the deputy CEO has been SOK's business director Antti Sippola.

Additional information:

SOK Supervisory Board Chairman Matti Pikkarainen, tel. +358 40 550 2932

CEO of SOK (as of 1 January 2014) Taavi Heikkilä, tel. +358 50 68 037

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