VR train

Leadership Team

The Leadership Team discusses strategic issues and matters of significance to VR Group’s business, prepares plans and monitors their implementation. The Leadership Team also discusses key day-to-day operations and operational issues. 

VR Group has a Leadership Team comprised of the President and CEO (Chair), the Group CFO, the SVP, Long-distance Traffic, the SVP, City Traffic Finland, the SVP, City Traffic Sweden, the SVP, Logistics, the SVP, Human Resources, the Managing Director of VR FleetCare Ltd, the SVP, Communications, Public Relations and Sustainability, the SVP, Strategy, and the SVP, Legal Affairs. 

The President and CEO is responsible for managing the Group’s day-to-day administration in accordance with the instructions and orders issued by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors appoints and dismisses the President and CEO and decides on their remuneration.

The Leadership Team generally convenes once a month, and the President and CEO of VR-Group Plc acts as its chairperson.

Elisa Markula

Elisa Markula

  • M.Sc. (Econ.)
  • CEO, VR-Group Plc
  • Employed by VR Group since 2022
  • Previously worked as the CEO of Oriola Corporation, the CEO of Tikkurila Group and Managing Director of the Coffee Division for Paulig Group
Ilkka Anttila

Ilkka Anttila

  • SVP, Strategy and PMO, VR-Group Plc
Janne Hattula

Janne Hattula

  • Bachelor of Hospitality Management and Tourism
  • Senior Vice President, City Traffic (Finland), and CEO of Pohjolan Liikenne, VR-Group Plc
  • Employed by VR Group since 2022
  • Previously worked as CEO of Airpro Group. Previously also worked in the SAS Group in various management positions, such as the CEO of Blue1
Otso Ikonen

Otso Ikonen

  • M.Sc. (Eng.), M.Sc. (Econ.)
  • Senior Vice President, Maintenance, VR FleetCare Ltd
  • Employed by VR Group since 2022
  • Previously worked at ABB in international business management positions, as the director of the Helsinki machinery factory and in several other management roles as well as at Wexon Oy as the CEO
Eljas Koistinen

Eljas Koistinen

  • Executive MBA, Bachelor of Business Administration (University of Applied Sciences)
  • Senior Vice President, VR Transpoint, VR-Group Plc
  • Employed by VR Group since 2017 in various positions at VR Transpoint: Sales Director, Vice President, Production, and Vice President, Commercial. Before this, worked in VR Group in 2006–2017 as Key Account Manager and Sales Manager in logistics
  • Previously worked as Sales Director at Geodis Wilson Finland Oy and in account management at Lindström Oy. Previous work experience also in Rautaruukki Corporation’s service
Markku Pirskanen

Markku Pirskanen

  • M.Sc. (econ.)
  • CFO, VR-Group Plc
  • Employed by VR Group since 1/2024
  • Previously worked as CFO at Manna & Co
Teemu Sipilä

Teemu Sipilä 

  • LL.M., eMBA
  • Chief Legal Officer, VR-Group Plc
  • Employed by VR Group since 2023. Previously held various positions at VR in 2010–2020: Vice President, Commuter Services, Acting CEO of VR Track and General Counsel
  • Previously worked as General Counsel, Partner and Advisor at GlucoModicum Ltd. Has also worked at, for example, Fortum and Castrén & Snellman
Kia Haring

Kia Haring 

  • MA
  • Senior Vice President, Communications, Public Relations and Sustainability, VR-Group Plc
  • Employed by VR Group since 2023
  • Previously worked at Tietoevry in leadership position in communications, marketing and responsibility. Also has previous work experience at Fortum and Wärtsilä
Piia Tyynilä

Piia Tyynilä

  • Bachelor of Hospitality Management
  • Senior Vice President, VR Long-distance Traffic, VR-Group Plc and CEO, Avecra Oy
  • Employed by VR Group and Avecra since 2007
  • Previously worked as VR’s Director of Services and in various positions at Avecra. Prior to this, worked in service business management positions at, for example, SOK and Picnic Finland Oy
Johan Oscarsson

Johan Oscarsson

  • Ph.D. (Solid Mechanics)
  • Managing Director of VR Sverige AB
  • Employed by VR Group since 2023
  • Previously worked at Strukton Rail AB as MD and CEO. Before that, experience as CEO of MTR Tech AB. He has also worked as CEO at Emtrain and Interfleet Technology AB
Melisa Bärholm

Melisa Bärholm

  • M. Sc. Psychology
  • Senior Vice President, People and Culture, VR-Group Plc
  • Employed by VR Group since 2023
  • Previously worked as HR Director at Lujatalo. Also has previous experience in human resources management at Tikkurila, Rovio, Suunto, Sako, Posti and Nokia
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