Operations of the Board of Directors

Responsibility for the management of the company and the proper organisation of its operations is invested in the company's Board of Directors, which is composed of five to ten members. Board members serve for one year at a time and are elected by the General Meeting.

According to the Corporate Governance Code's recommendation 10, the majority of Board members shall be independent of the company and at least two of the members representing this majority shall be independent of significant shareholders of the company. The Board evaluates the independence of its members annually and re-evaluates as necessary.

The Nomination Committee prepares the proposal for the General Meeting regarding the election of directors to the Board, and communicates with significant shareholders, when required, on matters pertaining to the proposal. The proposal for the composition of the Board is included in the Notice of the General Meeting. The same applies to a proposal for the composition of the Board made by shareholders with at least 10% of the votes carried by the company shares, provided that the candidates have given their consent to the election, and the company has received information on the proposal sufficiently in advance as to be included in the Notice of the General Meeting. The candidates proposed shall be disclosed separately. Wärtsilä publishes the biographical details of the candidates for the Board on its website in connection with publication of the Notice of the General Meeting.

The Board elects a chairman and a deputy chairman from among its members. The Board steers and supervises the company's operations, and decides on policies, goals, and strategies of major importance. The principles applied by the Board to its regular work are set out in the Board Charter. The Board also approves the rules of procedure applied by the Board's committees setting out their main tasks and working principles. In addition to matters requiring its decision, the Board is also given updates at its meetings on the Group's operations, financial position and risks.

The Board conducts an annual self-evaluation of its operations and working methods. The purpose of this evaluation is to assess how the Board has executed its tasks during the year and to act as a basis for developing Board functions.

The Board of Directors convenes 8-11 times a year following a pre-determined schedule. In addition to these meetings, the Board convenes as necessary. All board meetings are documented.

Diversity principles

In order for the Board of Directors to discharge its duties in the most effective manner, the Board must be highly qualified and sufficiently diverse. When preparing its proposal for the Board's composition, the Nomination Committee takes into account the educational and professional background of the individual candidates, as well as their international experience so that the composition of the Board represents a wide variety of competencies and qualifications. The Nomination Committee also takes into account the candidates'age, as having different seniority levels on the Board is considered beneficial in terms of ensuring mutually complementing experience. 

Wärtsilä's principle with regard to gender is to have both genders represented on the Board. In December 2018, Wärtsilä had two female board members out of eight members in total. The objective of the Comapny is to achieve over time a more balanced representation of both genders on the Wärtsilä Board. The Nomination Committee assesses the potential candidates, not only in terms of their individual qualifications and characteristics, but also in terms of their ability to effectively work together and jointly support and challenge the company management in a proactive and constructive way.


Board of Directors in 2019

As of 7 March 2019, the Board consisted of the following eight members: Ms Maarit Aarni-Sirviö, Mr Kaj-Gustaf Bergh, Ms Karin Falk, Mr Johan Forssell, Mr Tom Johnstone (Deputy Chairman), Mr Mikael Lilius (Chairman), Mr Risto Murto, and Mr Markus Rauramo.

All of the members of the Board of Directors are determined to be independent of the company, and six members are determined to be independent of significant shareholders. Mr Tom Johnstone is determined to be dependent of significant shareholders, due to his position on the board of Investor AB. Mr Johan Forssell is determined to be dependent of significant shareholders, due to his position as the President and CEO of Investor AB. In its evaluation of independence, the Board of Directors has taken into account that Maarit Aarni-Sirviö and Kaj-Gustaf Bergh have been members of the board for over ten consecutive years. The Board found no reasons to determine Maarit Aarni-Sirviö and Kaj-Gustaf Bergh as dependent of the company. The evaluation was conducted from the point of view of both the company and the board members in question.*

Until 7 March 2019, the Board consisted of the following eight members: Ms Maarit Aarni-Sirviö, Mr Kaj-Gustaf Bergh, Ms Karin Falk, Mr Johan Forssell, Mr Tom Johnstone (deputy chairman), Mr Mikael Lilius (chairman), Mr Risto Murto and Mr Markus Rauramo.

During 2018, Wärtsilä's Board of Directors held 11 meetings. The average attendance of all directors was 100%. The financial and strategic development of Wärtsilä and its position in the markets, its growth opportunities, and the general further development of the Company have been, among others, the major items on the Board's agenda. People matters are also an important and continuous part of the Board’s work, as they contribute to Wärtsilä’s long-term success. During 2018, areas of particular focus included implications of escalating trade tensions, the organisational design of the Group, Wärtsilä's digital strategy, business development in the USA, as well as the acquisition of Transas.

*Updated on 29 April 2019

Related Information:
Information on the members of the Board of Directors 
Information on the composition of the Board of Directors during previous years
Managers’ transactions
Remuneration report

© 2019 Wärtsilä