Patria’s CEO Mr. Jorma Wiitakorpi has submitted his resignation to the Board of Directors. Mr. Wiitakorpi and the Board have agreed that Mr. Wiitakorpi renounces his position with immediate effect. The ongoing criminal investigation of the activities of Patria’s certain subsidiaries has led to a situation which could substantially reduce the outward credibility of Mr. Wiitakorpi and therefore his ability to act as the CEO.
The internal investigation has brought up no evidence implying that Mr. Wiitakorpi would have been aware of or involved in the suspected criminal activities. The police investigation continues.
Mr. Wiitakorpi will be released from his duties with immediate effect but will remain in Patria’s employment as a senior advisor to the new CEO until spring 2009. Mr. Wiitakorpi assumed his post in 2001. During his period as the CEO Patria’s business experienced strong growth and Patria became one of the leading companies in the industry. Patria will extend Mr. Wiitakorpi a severance pay equaling one year’s wages.
The board has appointed Mr. Heikki Allonen (54) as the new CEO from August 18, 2008. Allonen has acted as the CEO of Fiskars Oyj in 2003-2008. He has been a member of Patria’s board since spring 2008. He is also a member of the board in various other companies.
"It’s unfortunate that we have had to make this decision. During the past two years as the Chairman of the Board I have come to know Jorma Wiitakorpi as an industry expert as well as a leader who’s willing to stick his neck out. A good reputation is essential to Patria as a technology company. By taking this step Mr. Wiitakorpi and the board want to show that the suspicions of illegal activities are taken seriously. Heikki Allonen is an experienced CEO and I believe he will win the support of customers and other stakeholders. Especially important is the support of every Patria employee”, says Chairman of the Board Risto Virrankoski.
Patria’s owners, the State of Finland and EADS, have expressed their support for the changes and their confidence in the continued development of Patria’s operations.
Risto Virrankoski, Chairman of the Board, Patria Oyj,
tel. +358 40 875 2899