Dr. Sc. (Tech.) Seppo Kuula is appointed as CEO of the software technology company Unikie. The current CEO and Unikie co-founder Esko Mertsalmi will continue to work full-time in the company’s board.
”The first five years have made Unikie an international player. The dream of an international technology company operating from Finland has become reality. To keep evolving from here we need a more systematic approach to operative leadership. To have an experienced professional such as Seppo with us for our next phase of growth and scaling up is a wonderful opportunity for our company”, says Esko Mertsalmi who has been at the helm of Unikie from the start.
The five-year-old Unikie employs over 300 people and about one third of the company’s turnover comes from exports. They are entering the next growth phase where data driven business scalability becomes key.
”We have succeeded in internationalizing our operations quickly. Our customers include leading German car manufacturers, heavy machinery market leaders, and the best of the best technology developers in the field of information networks and data security. We have already invested in technology platforms with more than 10 million euros and our plan is to make a similar investment in internationalisation over the next two years. Seppo is the best man to lead the company into this new stage”, Mertsalmi adds.
Kuula has a solid track record of transforming and scaling business in new technology growth companies, and of agile cultural steering of major international operations.
”Unikie is at an interesting point where we can and shall incorporate cultural, information-based leadership into managing growth. My career has been leaning to new technologies and transformational visions, so it is quite obvious that I am very excited about this challenge. The team and management are committed to the future development, and the technology assets we have are unique”, says Seppo Kuula, who will take on the role of Unikie’s CEO no later than in March. For the present year, Kuula has been working in the Unikie board.
He has been CEO of Enfo Oyj until this new assignment at Unikie. Before that Kuula was the CEO for Siili Solutions Oyj. Kuula recently completed his doctoral degree in technology and has prior degrees of M.Sc. (Ind. Eng. & Mgmt)., eMBA, and B.Sc. (Eng.).
Mertsalmi will continue to develop Unikie by working in the board and assisting the new CEO in business development in the agreed areas.
”Creative leadership is no longer enough; we need a systematic way of thinking. From my perspective, I am really looking forward to being able to focus more on the company’s business development in my own duties”, Mertsalmi states.
”The breakthrough of autonomous devices and processes will create a huge market”
For Seppo Kuula, Unikie’s business area represents a technology market that can be seen as the next mobile communications business:
”Scalable cross data platform solutions, combined with real-time data transfer, will enable the breakthrough of autonomous devices and processes. Computer vision, digital twins, and secure real times data streams together with machine-assisted decision-making is producing a technology market that can be seen as the next mobile communications business. To address this market, Unikie has not only determinedly developed its own expertise but also their own platform solutions”.
Unikie was founded in 2015 and is a technology company focusing on demanding device-edge-cloud based software solutions. The company’s main segments include the automotive industry, intelligent machines, industry 4.0, and data communications. The spearheading product is Unikie AI Vision, a total solution for autonomous driving (AD) that is scalable to the global market.
Unikie is the third most rapidly growing technology company in Finland with operations in Finland, Sweden, Germany, Poland, and the United States. The company has set high goals for growth, aiming for the +100 MEUR category. Based on current market demand for Unikie’s expertise and technological solutions, strong and profitable growth is expected. Some of Unikie’s customers include Sandvik, Nokia, and Valmet.