Olaf Bongwald
CEO

Olaf Bongwald has been the CEO of Valmet Automotive Group since July 2018. Since then, the 52-year-old top manager has been driving forward the implementation of the new corporate strategy: Building on his strong position as one of the world’s leading contract manufacturer, Tier 1 system supplier of roof systems and sought-after engineering service provider, Valmet Automotive expands its business portfolio with the target to establish Valmet Automotive as leading service provider in electromobility.  Olaf Bongwald joined Valmet Automotive from American Axle where he has acted as President, Driveline Europe. Previously Mr. Bongwald has served Magna for 18 years and has held there several senior business leadership positions. Most recently he was responsible for Magna Electronics globally and was part of the global senior leadership team of Magna Powertrain.

Charlotte Caswell
SVP Group HR

Charlotte Caswell has been Senior Vice President Group HR since January 1, 2019. Prior to joining Valmet Automotive, Charlotte Caswell who is of British origin, has held numerous management positions covering HR strategy, talent management, HR administration and leadership. Charlotte Caswell has worked for more than 7 years in the automotive industry focusing on human resources for some of the leading Tier 1 suppliers, like American Axle Manufacturing.
Developing Valmet Automotive as one global company, with a common strategy, a common corporate culture and common standards on processes, procedures and tools is a key priority for Charlotte Caswell and the Management Team. Charlotte Caswell will promote the group idea, while supporting the four business lines on HR.

Remigiusz Grześkowiak
SVP Roof & Kinematic Systems

Remigiusz Grześkowiak has been working for Valmet Automotive since 2012 starting as a plant manager at the Zary plant manufacturing roof systems and kinematic systems for the automotive industry. In 2018 he was put in charge of the entire Roof & Kinematic Systems business line, that has operations both in Poland and in Germany. Before joining Valmet Automotive, Grześkowiak occupied several process development and product and process quality related positions at Dr Schneider Automotive in Poland for over ten years. Grześkowiak has studied industrial engineering and electronics both in Poland and Germany.

Robert Hentschel
SVP Engineering

Dr. Ing. Robert Hentschel joined Valmet Automotive from the UK engineering service provider Ricardo in November 2017 and is the Senior Vice President Engineering of the Group. Hentschel started his professional career at EDAG after completing his studies in electrical engineering at the TU Braunschweig and graduating there. After various management positions that Hentschel had for the engineering service provider in Germany, the 1972 in Hannover born manager, moved to Detroit, USA in 2009. There he was responsible for product development and production engineering as COO and member of the Management of EDAG Inc. In early 2010, Hentschel followed the call of Lotus Group and took over for the legendary sports car brand as Director Lotus Engineering. After nearly two years, and almost further two years as Managing Director at Hentschel GmbH followed, British engineering company Ricardo named Robert Hentschel Global Head of Motorcycle & Urban Mobility based in Schwäbisch Gmünd.

Minna Huhtaniska
General Counsel

Minna Huhtaniska has been the General Counsel of Valmet Automotive Group since August 2013. She has over 20 years of experience in multiple industry sectors including international branded and private label food production, food service/professional service industries and alcohol beverage markets as well as manufacturing and engineering services. Huhtaniska has versatile experience in negotiating and drafting both standard and complex contracts in various areas such as R&D, sourcing, production, delivery, sales & marketing, IT and HR. She has also been involved in numerous strategic business initiatives including reorganizing, refinancing and international licensing.  Ms. Huhtaniska has a degree both in economics and law.

Christian Kleinhans
SVP Group Business Development

Christian Kleinhans joined Valmet Automotive Group from Berylls Strategy Advisors in July 2017. Initially he served as Senior Advisor Business Development before starting as Senior Vice President Group Business Development in January 2018. The graduate industrial engineer began his career in research and development at Daimler in 1993. In 1997 he moved into the top management consulting business and was with Oliver Wyman for nearly 14 years, becoming Partner of the Global Automotive Practice. At the end of 2010, he founded the top management consulting company Berylls Strategy Advisors. His main focus has been on company strategy and new business designs for the automotive industry. Since 2008, Kleinhans has been intensively involved with electromobility and the resulting disruptive impact on the automotive industry.

René Kohl
SVP Group ICT

René Kohl is since September 1, 2019, the Senior Vice President Group ICT. Kohl started his career in the ICT industry at SAP AG in Walldorf. He worked there for a total of around eight years in automotive consulting and was also responsible for several international projects. In 2007, he joined Magna International as Senior Program Manager, before founding the PMOKP (Project Management Organization Kohl + Partner) in October 2013. There he was the managing director until his move to Valmet Automotive. René Kohl has degrees both in business and political economics and has a PMO certificate in project management.

Jyrki Nurmi
SVP EV Systems

Jyrki Nurmi is the Senior Vice President for EV Systems and is in charge for the Electric Vehicles business line of Valmet Automotive Group. Nurmi has worked for the Group for over 30 years, and his strong executing power and long experience in the international networks and cultures has put him in charge of some of the most important production projects in Valmet Automotive history with clients like Porsche, Fisker and Daimler. Nurmi’s core knowhow covers the fields of manufacturing engineering, productions processes and their development. Currently, Nurmi and his team are setting up a battery plant in Salo, Finland, which will become another milestone in Valmet Automotive history, and a great achievement of an international team headed by Nurmi. Nurmi has studied engineering and has complemented his knowhow by an MBA degree.

Pasi Rannus
SVP Manufacturing

Pasi Rannus is leading the Manufacturing business line as the Senior Vice President Manufacturing since 2018. His career within the automotive has lasted for over 20 years during which he has excelled in manufacturing engineering and process development, which present Valmet Automotive core knowhow in manufacturing. During his career he has been relocated for several years both to Germany and the United States managing the intercompany relationships with the customers and developing supplier chain activities. In the United States Rannus established a subsidiary for Valmet Automotive. Rannus is known for being a very approachable, hands-on leader, whose engagement in the field and with the company is greatly appreciated by customers and colleagues. Rannus has a degree in engineering and an MBA from the University of Turku.

Juha Torniainen
CFO

Juha Torniainen started at Valmet Automotive in June 2018 as Chief Financial Officer. Since then his key objectives in the company are related to financial performance management improvement, cash generation and funding for future growth. Juha has 25+ years of experience in finance and general management mostly in global manufacturing companies within the automotive and electronics industries. Most recently he was the Chief Financial Officer at PKC Group Oyj which was acquired by Motherson Sumi Systems Limited of India in early 2017. Torniainen has got a degree in finance from the Helsinki School of Economics.

Hans-Joachim Vogt
SVP Continuous Improvement and Quality

Hans-Joachim (Jochen) Vogt took up his position as Senior Vice President Group Quality & Continuous Improvement Valmet Automotive in January 2018, at a time when the Uusikaupunki car plant was facing significant changes in the production and logistics processes. Vogt is a mechanical engineer with broad international experience. He has just come back from the US, where he advised Tier 1 and Tier 2 system suppliers. Previously he worked decades at Daimler in responsible positions at Logistics, Production and Manufacturing Engineering – for assembly plants and component factories as well. Most recently, he was at Daimler responsible for Manufacturing Engineering Trucks Europe beforehand for Latin America/NAFTA. Many years he led the Production Unit for Manual Transmissions, which are manufactured in Germany, Brazil and Japan. After his professional journey through Asia, Turkey, South and North America, he is fascinated about Finland and about the Valmet Automotive Team.