Samskip picks Kari-Pekka Laaksonen as Group CEO to lead customer-focused logistics strategy

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Pan-European transport service provider Samskip appoints Kari-Pekka Laaksonen as the Group Chief Executive to execute growth plans based on a customer focused approach.

Samskip, Europe’s largest multimodal service provider group, has secured the services of Kari-Pekka Laaksonen as Group Chief Executive Officer, in an appointment reflecting its strategy to align logistics services more closely with the business objectives of its client base.

Mr Laaksonen, who takes up his post at Samskip’s Rotterdam headquarters on 1st August, 2019, is the former CEO of Samskip competitor Containerships, where he led the Finnish group’s aggressive growth from 2012. He also brings significant experience from the shipper perspective, having occupied progressively senior logistics roles in the chemicals, forest products and automotive sectors.

“The opportunity to join Samskip, with its extensive transport network across Europe is very exciting from a personal point of view,” said Mr Laaksonen. “Competition is fierce but Samskip achieves the unique balance of delivering scale economies through its shortsea, rail, barge and trucking network while maintaining the privately-owned culture that responds to opportunities quickly and decisively.”

He says his approach to Samskip’s logistics services will be customer-centric. “My CV includes 20 years’ experience as a logistics professional with different shippers, which means I have a specific interest in understanding customer needs. I look forward to developing this approach with Samskip’s customer base.”

“I have known Kari-Pekka for many years, personally and professionally, and followed his success. I’m delighted to have Kari-Pekka on board,” said Ólafur Ólafsson, one of Samskip’s shareholders.

Samskip and Samskip’s shareholders have made strategic acquisitions over recent years. With the appointment of Kari-Pekka all companies, including Norlines and Samskip Logistics, will merge into one group. Mr Laaksonen will lead the management board of six executives, including Ásbjörn Gislason who will become Group Deputy CEO.

Mr Laaksonen added that he takes pride in joining Samskip as an organisation committed to sustainable transport that is relieving Europe’s congested road network of polluting truck miles. “When I talk to global companies, I believe that Samskip is the frontrunner in finding sustainable solutions that reduce their carbon footprints; multimodal services provide the real and practical answer. The digital transformation Samskip is undertaking is also impressive and places the company in a very competitive and advanced position in our industry,” he said.