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Merja Ylä-Anttila appointed CEO of Yle

Merja Ylä-Anttila
Merja Ylä-Anttila. Merja Ylä-Anttila Picture by: Yle Kuvapalvelu Merja Ylä-Anttila

Yle’s Board of Directors has appointed Merja Ylä-Anttila CEO of the company. Succeeding Lauri Kivinen, who is leaving the company for a position in the private sector, Merja Ylä-Anttila will join Yle on 1 September 2018. After more than thirty years in the business, she has solid experience of the media industry.

Merja Ylä-Anttila has been editor-in-chief at MTV since 2001. MTV is the oldest commercial broadcaster in Finland and part of the Swedish Bonnier Ab. For the past three years, she has also been CEO of Mediahub Helsinki Oy, a subsidiary of Bonnier Broadcasting. Lately, she has successfully managed several major reform and change processes in the media field.

Yle’s Board of Directors based the appointment on Merja Ylä-Anttila’s long leadership experience and solid vision of the media sector.

“Merja Ylä-Anttila possesses experience, competence and leadership. She knows the industry and is familiar with how Yle operates. In addition, she has a clear idea of what changes are necessary following from the mounting pressure from society and technology. She is an inspirational leader”, says Thomas Wilhelmsson, chair of Yle’s Board of Directors.

“The Board feels that Merja Ylä-Anttila has an in-depth understanding of the role of public broadcasting and of Yle in society. She excels at building and maintaining social networks. We hope that her input will promote and expand cooperation within the Finnish media field.”

The tasks of Yle’s CEO include managing the operations of the company and being responsible to the Board of Directors for profitable operations. The CEO is also responsible for implementing the Administrative Council’s decisions jointly with the Board. The Management Group, consisting of the heads of Yle’s units and joint operations, works under the authority of the CEO. As before, Yle’s responsible editors will be responsible for the content decisions.

“Nothing trumps Yle as a position in media when one’s goal is to work for the good of Finnish society. I am happy, excited and extremely motivated to take on the task”, says Ylä-Anttila.

“In addition to the field of journalism, I have a great deal of leadership experience in times of change and reform. That is something I can bring to Yle.”

“Today, when Finnish media also has to face fierce international competition, cooperation between public service and commercial media is becoming increasingly important. What we need is well-functioning Finnish media operators who provide the best possible content for Finns”, says Ylä-Anttila.

Yle’s Board began looking for a new CEO in January, when Lauri Kivinen announced that he would be stepping down this year. For the first time, Yle used both direct search recruitment and open recruitment to find the new CEO. Lauri Kivinen will continue as CEO until the end of August 2018.

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