Pietarsaari, Finland - Packaging and paper products manufacturer Walki Group said it is strengthening its presence in the important Asia Pacific region, and has made changes in its executive team and business responsibilities, which takes effect 1 May 2009. Walki's connection with the urethanes sector is that it makes facings for foam insulation panels.
As part of these changes, Ari Rinkinen, currently Walki's vice president of Marketing and Sales, becomes vice president, Asia Pacific where he will controls sales and marketing activities in the region, and be responsible for growing Walki's business presence through alliances, acquisitions and investments.
In this new position, Rinkinen will be based at Walki's Changshu plant in Shanghai, China, and will continue to report to Leif Frilund, president and ceo of Walki Group.
To respond more efficiently to the growing demand for polymer-coated board products in Asia, the Changshu plant, presently part of Walki's paper-packaging business, will become part of the consumer-board business. Timo Saahko, general manager of the Changshu plant, will report to Wolfgang Thissen, vice president & general manager for consumer board.
Meawhile, Arno Wolff, vice president Sales & Marketing for paper packaging, will become responsible for the Walki Group global sales network, with the exception of the Asia Pacific region. David Ingham, vice president Sales & Marketing for consumer board, will become responsible for Walki Group marketing activities.
"These changes reflect our efforts to seek growth despite the global economic downturn. With our plant in China we are well positioned to serve the fast growing Asia Pacific region and to benefit from the increasing demand for extrusion-coated products," said Frilund, in the company's 20 March announcement.
Walki makes wrappings for the paper and metal industries, food and consumer packaging materials, decorative and functional laminates, barrier liners for solid and corrugated packaging, composite materials for the insulation and construction industries, as well as technical papers.
Walki Group has annual net sales of about Euros 300 million ($408 million), with about 1000 employees at plants are in Finland, Germany, Poland, the UK, China and Sweden.