CEO Yrjö Julin to leave Aker Yards over problems at Finnish shipyards
Overgrown order books cause delays and losses to shipbuilder late last year
Yrjö Julin, the Finnish CEO of the Norwegian shipbuilding concern Aker Yards, was dismissed from his post on Monday after serving in his post for eight months.
The move was prompted by financial problems last year. The greatest difficulties were with the company's Finnish shipyards, which is had been experiencing problems in spite of having record-full order books.
The chain of subcontractors has been unable to keep up to speed, and much of the work has been delayed.
Julin, who did not want to comment on the matter, vacated his post immediately. Stepping in until a new CEO is appointed will be the group's Chairman of the Board is Svein Sivertsen, a Norwegian.
In July last year, a month after he was named to head the concern, Julin said that the massive number of orders at Aker's Finnish shipyards was hurting the bottom line.
"Finland's resources in labour, material, and planning are proving too small, and delivery times for ferries and cruise ships are stretching out", Julin said.
Aker Yards has a total of 18 shipyards around the world, three of which are in Finland. With the exception of one Norwegian facility, the problems of an excessive work load apply only to the Finnish shipyards.
Aker Yards chairman Svein Sivertsen said from Oslo that a new CEO would be sought out as soon as possible.
"We are looking for a person who knows the field, who has an international profile, and who has the ability to motivate an organisation to make good results", Sivertsen said.
He would not rule out the possibility of naming another Finn to the post, and he emphasised that Aker Yards has important activity, and a fantastic shipbuilder in Finland.
Aker Yards has been doing poorly ever since Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Røkke sold his 40 per cent stake in the company to the South Korean company STX.
There has been speculation of a possible split-up of Aker Yards ever since the Norwegian family company Havyard bought about five per cent of the concern.
It has been suggested that STX might join the Italian Fincantier, and that they would buy out Aker's cruise line construction operations, including the company's Finnish shipyards, in which case the construction of offshore equipment and cargo ships would be left to the Havyard Group.
Previously in HS International Edition:
New ownership structure does not worry Aker Yard employees at Turku shipyard (24.10.2007)
Aker Yards for sale (15.3.2007)