SGN Group appoints a new CEO from outside of the Nieminen family

Julkaistu 23.09.2020

Ilkka Brander (right) is the first SGN Group´s CEO from outside of the Nieminen family. The current CEO Sam G. Nieminen (left) continue work actively in the board of directors. Stefan Nieminen (middle) will continue as a the company´s Deputy CEO.


SGN Group is changing its CEO. Ilkka Brander is appointed as CEO on 1 January 2021. Brander, 44, will be SGN Group’s first CEO to come from outside of the Nieminen family. The current CEO, Sam G. Nieminen, will focus on developing the company through his work as a member of the Board of Directors going forward.

Ilkka Brander, B.Soc.Sc., MBA, will move to the position of SGN Group’s CEO from the position of Executive Vice President at Solteq. A member of SGN Group’s Board of Directors since 2017, Brander has extensive experience in the retail sector, in both consumer retail and the wholesale business. Brander has previously held various management positions in the S Group, including Managing Director of e-Commerce and Digital Services.


“It was important for us to choose a new CEO who shares our values. Sustainability, trust, integrity and a long-term approach are the cornerstones of our operations. Ilkka’s expertise has been clear to see during his time on our Board of Directors,”
says Sam G. Nieminen, CEO and principal owner of SGN Group.


“I’m fascinated by this family company’s history, inspiring story, interesting portfolio and the international dimension of its business. I see plenty of opportunities to further grow and develop this fine company,”
Ilkka Brander says.

SGN Group’s financial position is stable. All ten of the company’s business areas are profitable in 2020. Over the course of a few difficult years, the company carried out a significant renewal of its operations, including the development of internal operating methods and the elimination of loss-making businesses.


“We have improved our competence and agility to react to changes and opportunities. Our new dynamic and younger management has the ability and desire to continuously develop operations and grow the Group in a deliberate manner,”
Sam G. Nieminen explains.


“Examples of our capacity for renewal include the success of the interior design and lifestyle brand Anno, our TOP Service concept in the agricultural equipment segment and the Bike Nation concept in the Swedish sporting goods retail segment. As the CEO, I will look to encourage our personnel and customers to come up with ideas and to develop their work and our business segments,”
Brander adds.


Members of the owner family to continue on the Board of Directors, Stefan Nieminen to become Deputy CEO

Sam G. Nieminen will remain on SGN Group’s Board of Directors and he will continue to play an active role in the company’s development. For the past 40 years, Sam. G. Nieminen has been at the helm of the company founded by his father, Sven G. Nieminen. The Chairman of the Board of Directors is Mika Sutinen. Another member of the owner family, Mikaela Nieminen, will also continue on the Board of Directors.

Stefan Nieminen, also of the owner family, will continue as the company’s Deputy CEO. His responsibilities include new businesses, mergers and acquisitions, the development of the Group’s shared services and business in Russia as well as digital solutions.

Sam G. Nieminen is leaving the position of CEO in good spirits.


“Ilkka’s appointment as CEO was suggested by my son Stefan. I’m confident that their complementary strengths will help the company move in the right direction. We have an impressive history, but being a family company shouldn’t mean that you become stagnant or make business decisions from the family perspective,” Sam G. Nieminen says.


“SGN Group is approaching its 90th anniversary. Sam G. Nieminen has made SGN Group the company it is today. We enter our next decade with confidence. The next chapter in the story of SGN Group and the Nieminen family will be characterised by renewal, but we will also continue to take advantage of the company’s extensive experience and long history,” says Mika Sutinen, Chairman of the Board of Directors.


Established in 1933, SGN Group is a strong and developing Finnish family company that is known for its portfolio of widely recognised international brands. The Group also has significant business operations in Russia and Sweden. SGN Group’s business areas include household and recreational products, sporting goods, agriculture, industrial equipment, snowmaking equipment and snow management equipment. Examples of the brands represented by SGN Group include Arctic Cat, Kawasaki, Tohatsu, New Holland, Case IH, Kverneland, PistenBully, TechnoAlpin, Team Sportia, Sportringen and Anno. SGN Group’s total revenue in 2019 amounted to approximately EUR 129 million and the company has about 120 employees. The Group’s head office is located in Vantaa.


More information:
Ilkka Brander, tel. +358 50 388 3108
Sam G. Nieminen, tel. +358 40 552 7040
Stefan Nieminen, tel. +358 40 560 4920


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