Stockmann names new CEO, Lindex chief steps up
Finnish retail giant Stockmann, which owns its namesake department stores as well as the internationally available Lindex brand, has named a new CEO. Susanne Ehnbåge has stepped up to the role, effective immediately. Former Group CEO Jari Latvanen is leaving the company.
Ehnbåge has “successfully” led fashion retailer Lindex as CEO since 2018. Previously she'd been CEO of the consumer electronics online retailer NetOnNet Group, and SIBA, the physical stores side of the business. She’ll also now continue in her role overseeing Lindex.
At the same time, the company has named Tove Westermarck as COO of the Stockmann division. She’ll report directly to Ehnbåge.
Company chair Sari Pohjonen said: “We are on the right track in our transformation fully in line with our strategy and see that this is the right time to make a change at the helm of Stockmann Group to further support our growth. Susanne Ehnbåge has a strong record of accomplishment in retail and digital consumer business, successfully leading both business and people in rapidly changing market conditions and delivering good financial performance.
“The consistent growth and performance of the Lindex business has had a fundamental role in enabling the entire Stockmann Group to improve its position. With Susanne taking the lead we want to ensure that we continue this path. At the same time, as part of the ongoing strategy process, we continue to evaluate our strategic options as well as financing for the period after the corporate restructuring.”
The new CEO added that “there are several interesting developments taking place in the retail business that we have the potential to harness with our talented people. Both Lindex and Stockmann brands thrive and evolve thanks to carefully curated collections and services, our strong sustainability actions as well as investments in improving digitalisation. We will continue driving forward our strategic priorities in multiple areas to accelerate growth in both of our divisions.”
The company press statement added that “during recent years, substantial advances have been made in the strategic re-positioning of the Group despite the challenging macroeconomic situation. The restructuring programme has proceeded well, all department store properties have been sold and debt has been significantly reduced. It is now time to shift Stockmann’s focus to accelerating growth and increasing shareholder value.”
No reason was given for why Latvanen isn’t the person to take on the next growth phase of the business but he wished the team well and talked up the achievements of the first phase the the group’s transformation in the past four years.
Pohjonen also thanked him for “effectively leading” leading it and setting it up for “further growth”.
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