Finnish Forest Industries Federation appoints female President
Anne Brunila, 48, has been appointed as the next President of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation, effective from January 1st, 2006. The current President, Timo Poranen, 62, will retire at the end of 2005.
Prior to her current position as the Director General of the Economics Department of Finland's Ministry of Finance, Anne Brunila has held several senior economist positions in the Ministry and the Bank of Finland, as well as at the European Commission. She holds a PhD in Economics and Business Administration.
Even though the appointment of a woman was a surprise to some, it was not totally unexpected. Large forest companies believe that Anne Brunila is the best choice with respect to their present requirements in the global economy. A softer corporate image is one of the challenges facing the new President.
Over recent years, cooperation possibilities between forest companies have been noticeably narrowed down as a result of the tightening of Finland's competition legislation.
Furthermore, today's environmental issues require a new kind of attitude to replace the traditional engineer-oriented communication style.
As for the labour market, the paper industry dispute earlier this year, with its lockouts and strike action, inflicted a trauma upon both negotiating parties that will have long-lasting effects.
Anne Brunila sees the forest industry as the backbone of Finland's national economy. Its importance has nonetheless recently been forgotten in the frenzy of high technology and electronics.
According to Brunila, the future of the Finnish forest industry is to be built on the same principles as expressed in the globalisation report she compiled for the Ministry of Finance a year ago.
Brunila's list of planned improvements includes lifting the industry's cost-effectiveness, an increased amount of research, as well as issues related to raw materials, climate, and environment.
Brunila's colleagues describe her as a perceptive person who has a distinct way of expressing her opinions and wishes. She defines herself as being a politically unaligned civil servant who wishes to work together with people.
One of Brunila's first tasks will be to start looking for a new Forest Industries' Federation labour market chief to replace Arto Tähtinen, who will turn 60 this autumn.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Thursday 16:00 - Paper workers reject mediation offer (23.6.2005)
The young, the restless, and plenty of work gone to waste (16.11.2004)
Prime Minister and President disagree on globalisation policy - Globalisation report published (10.11.2004)
Finance Ministry official backs Danish model for fighting unemployment (9.8.2004)
The Finnish Forest Industries Federation