* Ronsenlew to join as SKF CFO from June 17
* IT experience in focus as SKF digitises, automates operations
* Departing CFO leaving to pursue career, no conflict: SKF (Adds Basware statement, SKF comments)
By Esha Vaish and Johannes Hellstrom
STOCKHOLM, April 30 (Reuters) - Sweden’s SKF named Niclas Rosenlew chief financial officer on Tuesday, as the world’s largest maker of industrial bearings announced the immediate departure of its current CFO Christian Johansson.
Rosenlew, who is currently CFO of Finnish cloud-based software company Basware and has previously held senior roles at Microsoft, Nokia and Deutsche Bank, will take up the post on June 17.
Although SKF’s automotive business has been hit recently due to a downturn in the car market, Johansson leaves the firm in good health. Last week it reported a forecast-beating first quarter operating profit, helped by resilient industrial demand.
That followed three years of consecutive operating profit growth under Johansson, who has been SKF’s CFO since June 2015.
SKF said Johansson was leaving to pursue his career outside the company. Johansson did not immediately respond to a LinkedIn request seeking comment, but an SKF spokesman said there was no conflict behind what was a joint decision.
Rosenlew joins SKF as the Gothenburg-based company is looking to step up cost-cutting in an uncertain economic environment. It is also in the middle of a drive to upgrade and automate its factories.
The SKF spokesman said Rosenlew’s strong IT background would support the company’s digitalization drive, while the group’s IT function would also fall under Rosenlew’s purview.
“His extensive operational, investor and strategic experience, combined with his leadership skills, will be important in our continued development,” said CEO Alrik Danielson, who will hold the CFO job until Rosenlew joins.
Basware, which earlier this year terminated takeover talks with Tradeshift Holdings Inc, said it would initiate a search for Rosenlew’s replacement and that Vice President Group Controlling Tuija Mäntyniemi would be CFO on an interim basis starting from May 10. (Reporting by Esha Vaish and Johannes Hellstrom in Stockholm; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)