Finland’s newly merged state-owned gaming company has announced its executive leadership team to take charge from January 1st next year, featuring six senior members from national lottery and betting operator Veikkaus.

Including newly appointed CEO Olli Sarekoski, the executive team consists of eleven members in total.

“Responsibility and reliability are the cornerstones of the Finnish gaming system,” said Sarekoski. “The new gaming company will need to earn its position among Finns from the very beginning, meeting the competition on the digital market in a responsible way.

“Whilst appointing the members of the executive team, we paid attention not only to formal competence but also to competence in public affairs.”

The executive members will officially begin their new roles on January 1st 2017, following the merger of the three state-owned operators (Fintoto Oy, Raha-automaattiyhdistys (RAY) and Veikkaus) and will report to CEO Sarekoski.

In practice, the executive team will assume responsibility for the preparations for the merger, as of yesterday (August 10th), the company said.

The current executive teams of Fintoto, RAY, and Veikkaus will be responsible for running their respective operations until the end of this year.

Veikkaus' Executive Team:

  • Executive VP:

Velipekka Nummikoski, responsible for communications, beneficiary and public relations, and sponsorship.
- The former state secretary has been serving as CEO of RAY since 2012.

  • Senior VP, business operations:

Nora Vähävirta, responsible for products, marketing, and brand and product development.
- Currently VP of Veikkaus’ business operations group.

  • Senior VP, ICT:

Timo Kiiskinen, responsible for gaming and other systems, and the product development process.
- Currently senior VP for RAY’s business operations.

  • Senior VP, customer relations and digital sales:

Ari Aarnihuhta, responsible for customer relations management, digital channels and services, business and customer intelligence (CI), and customer service.
- Currently serves as Veikkaus’ VP of CRM.

  • Senior VP, sales:

Pertti Koskenniemi, responsible for partnership and sales network, and the casino.
- Currently serves as CEO of Fintoto.

  • Senior VP, finance:

Maija Hjelt, responsible for finance, business intelligence (BI), real estates, and service and logistics.
- Currently heads up Veikkaus’ finance department.

  • Senior VP, legal affairs:

Mari Mustakoski, responsible for legal and contract affairs, and procurement.
- Currently heads up RAY’s legal affairs.

  • Senior VP, CSR:

Pekka Ilmivalta, responsible for corporate social responsibility and security, risk management, board of directors and supervisory board, compliance, and internal audit. 
- Currently SVP for Veikkaus’ communications and CSR department.

  • Senior VP, human resources:

Sirpa Ontronen, responsible for human resources and HR development.
- Currently RAY’s SVP of human resources.

  • Senior VP, strategy and planning:

Heidi Ioannidou, responsible for strategy, operational planning and steering, and indicators.
- Currently Veikkaus’ VP of business operations.