HKScan’s CEO of three years Hannu Kottonen resigned on Wednesday 22 January. The reasons behind his unexpected departure remain unclear, but the charmain of the board of directors, Mikko Nikula, said it could take four to eight months to find the right candidate.
When asked about potential candidates, Nikula said: “I do not like to speculate on that at all. We have a company that is working for us and we will work to a long-list and then look to reduce this down to a shortlist.
“If you ask me when I want someone to come in, I say: hopefully we have a new successor tomorrow. But in real life, we are looking for between four to eight months to find the right person.
“In this market situation, and in the meat business, the time is not easy and this is a challenge for everyone,” conceded Nikula. Despite the challenges facing Europe’s meat industry – such as Russia’s trade ban - Nikula doesn’t believe the empty CEO’s chair will lead to a drop in performance.
“We have an experienced management team who have built up a strong profitable growth strategy and there are no big changes coming out of the company,” he said.
The company is now in what Nukula describes as “silent mode,” and will not make any big announcements until Wednesday 10 February, when HKScan publishes its financial results for 2015.