That's how Valmet's new CEO Thomas Hinnerskov is: He describes working at Valmet as coming home.

Valmet's new CEO Thomas Hinnerskov has a policy of not wanting to work in the same industry twice. That's why he plans to familiarize himself with Valmet's industry and corporate culture before making any big decisions.

Engineering firm Valmet on Monday announced the appointment of a Dane as its new CEO. By Thomas Hinnerskov.

Valmet has traditionally appointed members of the management team from within the company, so the international recruitment of Mediq, a much smaller healthcare company than Valmet, was a surprise.

However, Hinnerskov brings this situation home. He has worked at Cone for nearly six years, and Valmet's head office in Gailaniemi, Espoo, is practically on the other side of the car park.

“It's nice to be here again,” says Hinnerskov.

Hinnerskov isn't worried about the challenges of managing a large company after a small medic. He believes his experiences at both Gone and the ISS prepared him for the job.

Hinnerskov believes his multidisciplinary background will benefit Valmet, known for its internal recruiting tradition.

Guka: Thomas Hinnerskov

2022–2024 As CEO of Mediq, a Dutch healthcare and laboratory company

2021–2022 Cohn's operations in Southern Europe, Africa and the Middle East

2016–2021 Cohn's activities in Central and Northern Europe

2003–2016 In various positions at the Danish asset management company ISS, most recently operations in Asia and Western Europe

Also has a background as an investment banker and management consultant.

“Sometimes it's good to bring people from different backgrounds, with different experiences and learnings into the organization: then you can challenge the conventional ways of making decisions.”

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“That's why I chose not to work in the same field twice in my life. The fact that you're constantly adapting and learning new things makes you more agile,” he continues.

I recall the emotional attitude of the Finns towards the inventions

Through Kon, Hinnerskov has experience in the Finnish business world and operating environment. Hinnerskov says he learned at Kon that Finns are innovative and take pride in engineering work.

“New ideas are approached with enthusiasm, and we want to constantly surpass ideas of what can be done,” he says.

Hinnerskov laughs when it is pointed out to him that there is a critical debate about this issue in Finland: Sometimes you hear Finnish companies accused of forgetting business logic in the frenzy of production.

“I think it's about how to channel passion and energy properly. Working at Cone was very strong on solving customers' problems rather than innovating.”

Hinnerskov declined to outline whether he intends to bring the same thinking model to Valmet and how he plans to develop Valmet's operations in general.

He insists that he remains humble about the fact that he comes from a completely different industry and doesn't yet know Valmet's corporate culture.

“In the beginning, it was very important to listen to Valmet's employees, customers and partners and understand the opportunities and challenges of the business without too strong preconceptions.”

“But Valmet's roots go back more than 200 years, and we're building on that history.”

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