Minister Hautala: Board members who decided on Finnair's extra bonuses cannot stay
Newspaper Helsingin Sanomat wrote today on 15 March 2012 that the CEO of the airline Finnair Mika Vehviläinen received a EUR 180 000 bonus in 2009 when he transferred to the duties of Finnair CEO. The purpose of the sing-on bonus was to compensate for the remuneration Vehviläinen lost in leaving his position as Chief Operating Officer of Nokia Siemens Networks. I learnt about this yesterday.
Finnair has been in the eye of the media hurricane several times during the past month. To maintain the company's credibility, there cannot be any other news or suspicion of decisions kept in secret or of lack of openness in communications. After the latest news it is necessary that immediate major changes be introduced to the company's board of directors. The question is how to re-establish confidence in Finnair as quickly as possible.
I have asked Jarmo Väisänen, Senior Financial Counsellor responsible for the ownership steering of Finnair, to summon a meeting of the Finnair shareholders' appointments committee and prepare a new proposal on the composition of the board of directors for the annual general meeting to be held soon. The board members who have participated in making decisions on the bonuses cannot act as credible members of the Finnair board.
Regardless of this, I must repeat that Finnair faces serious challenges and needs determined uninterrupted management to be able to continue forging its strategy and implementing necessary structural changes. The position of Harri Sailas, chairman of the board, and Mika Vehviläinen, CEO, is not to be assessed at this time. It will be discussed, as necessary, when the investigation on the apartment sale proceeds. In addition to Sailas, I expect Harri Kerminen to continue on the board. He was appointed at the spring 2011 general meeting.
Inquiries: Sallamaari Muhonen, Adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 40 505 1697, firstname.lastname@example.org