Jorma Kaimio, President of WSOY since 2000, will retire on September 30, 2006. Veli-Pekka Elonen, Vice President, Development and Legal Affairs in Sanoma Corporation, has been appointed as his successor.
– It is with a positive mindset that I accept this new challenge. WSOY has a strong vision and purpose for its existence. As an organisation, it is both traditional and innovative, and I believe it will offer many interesting opportunities, says Elonen.
Elonen describes the role of President as supporting the core functions of the business: the President is a creator of possibilities and a builder of the framework needed to realise them.
– Veli-Pekka Elonen is an experienced corporate manager, with strong business competence and knowledge of the communications business, says Hannu Syrjänen, President and CEO of SanomaWSOY. – Elonen's experience makes him perfectly suited for the position of President of WSOY – he is the right kind of person to run the company that is developing fast in these times.
Touko Siltala, Literary Manager, has been named as deputy of President in WSOY.
A good future for multi-faceted publishing
WSOY is Finland's largest book publisher, and has also grown to become a significant European educational publisher.
According to Elonen, book publishing, and Finnish publishing in general, has a bright future ahead. The status of fictional books has been significant, above all in Finland, while the sale of translation rights to other countries has also been lively. The process of internationalisation also opens up interesting possibilities in the field of educational publishing. – Our experiences of internationalisation have so far been both good and encouraging, states Elonen.
Another important issue for Elonen, already familiar to him from his time with Sanoma, is WSOY's contribution to society. – Being diverse, representing many voices and retaining our independence has proven to be significant, regardless of the type of publishing.
Skiing and cabin life bring balance
Veli-Pekka Elonen is a 40-year-old Master of Laws. He has also completed an MBA degree at IMD Switzerland. Elonen has held various positions at Sanoma Osakeyhtiö since his arrival in 1998, e.g. Vice President, Administration as well as Vice President, Legal Affairs, and since 2005 he has been Vice President, Development and Legal Affairs, as well as the President of Sanoma Data.
The father of three likes Telemark and cross-country skiing, catching and cooking his own meals and working on all kinds of summer cabin projects with his children and his wife Auli.
Books and literature will play a significant part in Elonen's work, and he confesses to also spending time with books away from work. – Over the last few years, the focus has been on professional and children's literature, and I believe the number of fictional books on my bookshelf will increase, he says.