Wärtsilä Helsinki Campus

It’s a wrap!

Yet another busy year is coming to its end. Company acquisitions, moving to the new Wärtsilä Helsinki Campus and building a renewed organisation contributed to 2018 being a busy year at Wärtsilä. CEO Jaakko Eskola sums up the year.

Text: Lena Barner-Rasmussen Photo: Wärtsilä

What were the biggest achievements during 2018?
The headquarters’ move to new premises was certainly a highlight. We've been at John Stenbergin ranta for over 40 years, so this was a big change. What's so exciting about the move is that it reflects how our way of working has changed during these 40 years. Today, we collaborate in a different way, and the new Wärtsilä Helsinki Campus has taken this into account. People have no desks of their own, and there are no physical departments as such. Today you might sit next to a colleague from finance and tomorrow you might find your self next to someone from HR.

Another big achievement was the decision to go ahead with our plans on building the Smart Technology Hub in Vaasa. This will be a new centre of research, product development and production. It will give us completely new means to collaborate with universities and customers, enabling the birth of new solutions.

The cyber security hub we opened in Singapore is another big achievement. I believe we are the only company in the world with our own cyber security centre. You cannot bet big on digitalisation without being serious about cyber security.

And then towards the end of the year, we finalised the restructuring of our organisation, into the Marine and Energy Businesses. With the new organisation, we will be better equipped to serve our customers throughout the whole life cycle in a service-minded way.

In terms of business, I am pleased to see Wärtsilä delivering cutting-edge solutions, which are tailored together with the customers for their specific needs.

What was the most fun piece of news?
Getting new companies into the Wärtsilä family is always fun. Lately, we've had several companies joining us, such as Transas strengthening our offering in marine navigation solutions, and Trident, honing our ship maintenance skills underwater. 

It's also fun to see how we can make a real difference with our solutions. This year we celebrated 20 years in Bangladesh. During this time, the country has grown much more prosperous and with the help of reliable electricity, Bangladeshis have been empowered to start their own businesses for instance. That feels great.

Anything tricky during 2018?
The tricky parts relate more to the state of the world than to us. Protectionism is on the rise, which is a game with no winners in the long run. I'd say the trickiest part during 2018 has been the difficulty with anticipating what will happen next! Unpredictability is the new normal.

Heading into 2019 with dread or excitement?
Excitement, definitely! The order books look good, and I'm excited to see our new organisation deliver on that. I also think the order books reflect what we want to achieve on a grander scale, that is enabling sustainable societies with smart technology.  So yes, I'm excited about 2019, and looking at my colleagues, I feel they are too!

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