Yle CEO Lauri Kivinen resigns

The CEO of Finland's national public broadcaster Yle says he is leaving his post in order to move forward with his career.

Image: Derrick Frilund / Yle

The CEO of Yleisradio, the Finnish Broadcasting Company, announced on Thursday that he will be stepping down as the head of the company. Lauri Kivinen says he wants to move forward in his career.

"It's about timing. I can still work for another 20 years," the 56-year-old said.

Chair of the Yle board Thomas Wilhelmsson confirms that Kivinen's departure is not linked to anything out of the ordinary.

"I understand his decision. Considering his age, this was surely a wise decision in terms of his career development. The decision was entirely Lauri's initiative," he said.

Kivinen has worked as the public broadcaster's CEO for the last eight years, joining Yle from his previous employer, Germany's branch of Nokia Siemens Networks. During his term as Yle's leader, the CEO position was changed from a limited 5-year position to one in which the term of service was indefinite.

His time at Yle was characterised by several big changes. Yle funding switched from a license fee system to a tax in 2013, and the company went through multiple rounds of redundancies under public pressure to downsize. The company also took substantial steps to strengthen and develop its internet presence.

Not connected with Ylegate

Last year 'Ylegate' grabbed headlines domestically and internationally when News Editor-in-Chief Atte Jääskeläinen was suspected of suppressing news on the prime minister's suspected conflict of interest.

"No single thing has influenced my decision to leave Yle. It is just a matter of timing. Now is a good time to make a move, and hand the reins over to a new CEO," Kivinen said.

The search for a new CEO for Finland's national broadcaster will begin immediately. Kivinen says he will continue in his post until a replacement has been chosen.