In 2008, Ilpo Korhonen was appointed President of Valmet Automotive. Previously having held executive positions in the company, Ilpo knew how the organisation worked and what was needed to give it new life. He started as president with the new board that brought in fresh ideas. "We brought in a couple of seasoned executives, Dr Schoepf from Daimler, and Mr Kalbfell from BMW. One had experience with product development and production, and the other with marketing sites," Ilpo says.
"We spent lots of time in the beginning of my CEO career on the strategy work together with the board of directors. We decided that we needed to change our core competency profile, to turn it around so we were not just known as a manufacturing partner."
The board decided to focus on two key areas: becoming a service provider as well as a manufacturing partner, and strengthening the company's engineering capabilities. One of the key themes for our strategy was that we needed to turn into a service provider for the automotive industry. And we needed to improve our service offering. We needed to get closer to the customers. And closer means in order to understand the real customer needs. And this is what we worked on and then we made decisions so that we had targets.