(Adds board chairman and analyst comments)
HELSINKI May 27 Finnish tyre maker Nokian
Renkaat named Ari Lehtoranta from lift manufacturer
Kone to replace long-serving Chief Executive Kim Gran
when he retires at the end of September.
The timing of Gran's departure, announced on Tuesday, was
earlier than some had expected and prompted a fall in the
"Last year he gave a somehow different impression, that he
would stay for a bit longer," said Nordea analyst Rauli Juva.
Gran will turn 60 in September.
"I had also expected that Gran's successor would have been
picked from inside the company. An outsider might spark some
concern among investors."
Since he took the helm of Nokian Renkaat in 2000, Gran has
led its bold expansion in Russia, helping the firm become one of
Finland's largest companies. Its market value has grown tenfold
during his tenure.
"Kim (Gran) doesn't have a twin brother 10 years younger
than him and we can't clone him," joked board chairman Petteri
"Ari (Lehtoranta) is very experienced and clear, a no
bullshit-type of man. A top guy, we thought."
Lehtoranta, 51, is Kone's executive vice-president for
Central and North Europe.
"He has done some projects in Russia too, of course not as
extensively as our company does," Wallden said.
Nokian Renkaat shares fell 2.1 percent to 31.12 euros by
(Reporting By Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Erica Billingham)