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Veikkaus targets digital success with new executive team

| By iGB Editorial Team
Appointments include new COO and executive vice-president

Veikkaus has made a series of changes to its executive team in order to pursue digital growth, following a decline in revenue in Q2.

The company said that although the move will not lead to personnel reductions, the initiative forms part of a wider revision of its organisation.

Nora Vähävirta will take on the role of chief operating officer, while Velipekka Nummikoski will become executive vice-president.

Elsewhere, Ari Aarnihuhta has been named as senior vice-president of ICT and sales, while Timo Kiiskinen will move into the position of senior vice-president of business operations and Pekka Ilmivalta senior vice-president of legal affairs and governance.

In addition, Veikkaus has bought in two new members of staff to take on senior roles at the company.

Jari Heino will join as senior vice-president of channels and sales on October 1, following a spell as European distribution director at Canon, while Heli Lallukka will step down as country HR operations manager at IKEA to become senior vice-president of HR at Veikkaus.

Olli Sarekoski (pictured), chief executive and president of Veikkaus, will lead the new-look executive team. The changes, with the exception of the two new additions to Veikkaus, come into effect from September 1.

Sarekoski said: “By revising our organisation, we are preparing, for our part, for the changes in our operating environment, for the rapidly increasing international competition, and for success in digital business.”

Confirmation of the changes come after Veikkaus last week posted disappointing financial results for the second quarter, due in part to more competition across digital channels and improved gaming restriction controls.

Turnover fell by 0.3% to €1.5872bn (£1.318bn/$1.429bn), but profit was up by 2.5% to €505.5m.

Veikkaus noted that 42.9% of sales were generated by digital channels, which is relatively flat in comparison with the 42% reported for 2017 – the first full year after Veikkaus completed a three-way merger with Fintoto and Finland’s Slot Machine Association.

The company is now looking to strengthen its digital arm as it goes in search of financial growth in the second half and beyond.

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