NOKIA, Finland (May 27, 2014) — Nokian Tyres P.L.C. has hired Ari Lehtoranta, an executive with Kone Corp., to become its president and CEO.
He succeeds Kim Gran, who plans to retire this fall after 14 years at the helm of the company, Nokian said.
Mr. Lehtoranta, 51, will assume Nokian’s presidency on Sept. 1 and the CEO role on Oct. 1, according to the firm. He currently is executive vice president, Central and North Europe, for Helsinki-based Kone, a producer of elevators, escalators and automatic building doors.
“Ari Lehtoranta has strong international management experience and a track record of achieving profitable results together with the organization,” said Petteri Walldén, Nokian Tyres’ chairman. “I am confident that under his leadership, Nokian Tyres will be continuing to execute the successful strategy of profitable growth.”
Mr. Walldén thanked Mr. Gran, 60, for his service, saying Nokian has become the most profitable tire maker worldwide during his tenure, the company’s share value has grown 10-fold and its profits have enabled the board to distribute generous dividends.
Prior to joining Kone in 2008, Mr. Lehtoranta has 15 years’ executive experience, mostly in the telecommunications industry at companies such as Nokia Corp. and Nokia Siemens.
“I am looking forward to the new challenge,” Mr. Lehtoranta said. “My target—together with the experienced management team—is to continue and write new chapters to the success story of Nokian Tyres. I am confident that we will be able to further develop the business and meet the strategic goals of the company also in the future.”
Mr. Gran will continue on Nokian’s board of directors. He joined the tire maker in 2000 after 20 years in executive positions with a variety of European companies.