Lehmus to replace Vanacker as Neste president, CEO
Neste Corp.’s board of directors has appointed Matti Lehmus as president and CEO as May 1. He succeeds Peter Vanacker, who will hold the position until April 30.
Lehmus holds a master’s degree in chemical engineering and an MBA. He joined Neste in 1998, and has held several key leadership positions during his career in both the oil products business and renewables. He has been a member of the Neste executive committee since 2009, and currently serves as executive vice president of the company’s renewables platform.
“The board of directors commenced an international recruitment process immediately after Peter Vanacker’s resignation in December last year,” said Matti Kähkönen, the chair of Neste’s board of directors. “The board has carefully evaluated several candidates for their suitability to lead Neste’s next steps in delivering profitable growth. I am pleased to note that we found an excellent internal successor who is very well-equipped to take over the role. Matti Lehmus has the right experience and expertise to continue executing Neste’s proven growth strategy of becoming a global leader in renewable and circular solutions. His proven track record of major investment projects and M&A, along with his solid leadership and interpersonal skills, will be an excellent combination to ensure Neste’s further success.”
Lehmus said, “I have been deeply involved in a number of strategic decisions on Neste’s transformation journey, including the establishment of a production joint venture in the U.S., our Singapore expansion and the planning for a possible next capacity increase investment in Rotterdam. I am very pleased to take the helm at a moment when we are well on our way in the execution phase of our growth strategy, and I am looking forward to continuing our success story together with all my Neste colleagues in the executive committee and around the world. I want to thank the board of directors for the trust they have placed in me. I am excited about this opportunity to lead a company and people I know well and care about very much.”
On behalf of the board, Kähkönen thanked Vanacker for his work making Neste a global leader in renewables. “During his time as the CEO, the company has made major investments, expanded its geographical reach and increased the diversity of our personnel,” Kähkönen said. “Neste is in a very strong financial position and well-prepared for its future expansion. I want to wish Peter all the best in his next role.”
Vanacker added, “It has been a privilege and pleasure to serve Neste for the past three-and-a-half years. I am very glad that I will be able to pass the baton to my successor and trusted colleague in a smooth and organized transition process in the coming weeks.”