Jaako Ihamuotila

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Person.png Jaako Ihamuotila   ZoominfoRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Jaakko Ihamuotila.png
Born25 November 1939
Helsinki, Finland
Alma materHelsinki University of Technology
One of the most influential business leaders of his time in Finland

Jaakko Ihamuotila (born 15 November 1939) is a retired Finnish business executive known for his senior roles in some of Finland's largest corporations, including as the CEO of Valmet and long-serving President and Chairman of oil company Neste (not to be confused with multinational Nestle).[1] He has been described as one of the most influential business leaders of his time in Finland.[2]

Early life and education

Ihamuotila was born as the second of four children to Veikko Ihamuotila, an agriculture sector influencer and ex-Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, and his wife Anna-Liisa.[3]

He studied engineering at the Helsinki University of Technology, graduating in 1964 with a Diplomi-insinööri (MSc in Technology) degree in physics.[3] He has said he was inspired already as a teenager to go into technology, by the opening of the world's first full-scale nuclear power plant for electricity generation, Calder Hall (now part of Sellafield), in the UK in 1956.[4]


Ihamuotila's early career included research and engineering positions at Canadian General Electric in Toronto, Imatran Voima and the Helsinki University of Technology.[3] He then moved to Valmet, and its various group companies, where he held a series of management roles, including a seat on the group's main Board of Directors from 1973.[3][4]

In 1973, Ihamuotila was appointed CEO of Valmet, in which role he served until 1979.[2][4]

In 1979 he was appointed to the Board of Neste,[5] the national oil company of Finland, and from 1980 onwards he served there also in an executive role as the company's president and Chairman, until 2000.[2][4] During his tenure, Neste was ranked on the Fortune Global 500 list.[6] After Neste and Imatran Voima merged to form Fortum, Ihamuotila continued to serve for a while in a non-executive Board role.[5]

In the early 2000s, Ihamuotila was among the founders, and one-time Chairman, of the Millennium Technology Prize.[7][8][4]


In 1990, Ihamuotila was awarded the highest civilian honorary title of Vuorineuvos by President Mauno Koivisto.[2]

He has also been conferred several Honorary Doctorates,[2] including by his alma mater, the Helsinki University of Technology (now Aalto University).[9]


Ihamuotila is married to Tuula, and they have three children, Timo, Antti and Anna-Elina.[3]

His older brother, Professor Risto Ihamuotila, is an academic who served for many years as the Chancellor of the University of Helsinki.[3]


Event Participated in

Bilderberg/19942 June 19945 June 1994Finland
The 42nd Bilderberg, in Helsinki.
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