Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Year 2014 is Senior Vice President Lars Peter Lindfors from Neste Oil. The award is given by Technology Academy Finland (TAF) to a Chief Technology Officer whose work has significantly contributed to the technological performance and growth potential of their company, who is an inspiring leader and a major contributor to societal networks. This is the fourth time the award has been presented, and it is a joint project between TAF, Spinverse Oy and the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.
This year, 17 CTOs from various sectors were shortlisted for the award, with the jury emphasising sustainable development as a key criterion in the judging process. Lars Peter Lindfors from Neste Oil was the unanimous choice of the jury as this year’s recipient.
“Lindfors’ long career at Neste reached a climax with the conclusion of a long and challenging renewable diesel project,” according to Yrjö Neuvo, chairman of the jury. “Over time, the project has involved risks and even setbacks, but the systematic work has now rewarded Neste Oil with the capability of producing diesel oil from biological waste and other renewable raw materials. Bioeconomy has come to play an important role at Neste Oil as well as in Finland and the entire world,” he added.
Lars Peter Lindfors (PhD (Tech.), MBA) has spent most of his working career at Neste Oil and its predecessor, Neste. A long career in the service of a major technology corporation has given Lindfors a vantage point on the evolution of technology leadership.
“Today the world is smaller and challenges are increasingly diverse,” he says. “Co-operation is ever more important, because technology-related challenges have also grown in complexity. What we need today is a holistic vision and a broad network of expertise as well as co-operation throughout the entire organisation. Functional line management is no longer a viable option. Sectoral networks and other co-operation partnerships are important facilitators for developing new things and also a window to the surrounding world,” says Lindfors.
According to Jukka Noponen, Senior Advisor at Sitra and a member of the award jury, co-operation and industrial symbiosis are crucial tools for Finnish companies, as they seek success factors in an ever tighter global competition. “The change towards resource-wise and carbon neutral societies can only succeed if large industry becomes part of the change and creates credible road maps to reach the goal. I am extremely proud that Neste Oil is showing the way to the oil industry. Chief technology officers are key persons as forerunners of the industrial transformation,” says Noponen.
Neste Oil is a good example of successful business renewal, and, says Yrjö Neuvo, renewal is needed elsewhere in Finland too. “There are lots of interesting innovations and successful businesses in Finland in such areas as the gaming industry, medicine and biotechnology, health and welfare technologies, public administration IT and the service business.”
Read more from TAF’s press release.