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Riku Vassinen Joins hasan & partners as CEO

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Riku has previously been in charge of Ogilvy’s operations in Africa and led strategic and digital change at R/GA and JWT in Singapore

Riku Vassinen Joins hasan & partners as CEO

After ten years at the helm of creative companies outside Finland, Riku Vassinen will now assume the post of CEO at hasan & partners. Riku has previously been in charge of Ogilvy’s operations in Africa and led strategic and digital change at R/GA and JWT in Singapore, for example. He will begin his new role at hasan & partners in April.

Riku Vassinen, who has been active on three continents over the years, was especially drawn to the diversity of hasan & partners and its teams, as well as to the company's agility, growth and independence. Finland and hasan & partners ultimately triumphed over other international opportunities.

“In my career, I’ve been something of an adventurer, going to Singapore, unemployed, and accepting a job in Africa without ever having visited the continent. I felt that hasan & partners promised more adventure and opportunities than any other company at the moment,” says Riku, describing the motivation for his decision.

Hasan & partners made an impact on Riku years ago, when he saw Ami Hasan on the cover of Talouselämä magazine. The company’s spirited attitude is something he wants to foster.  

“As an agency, hasan & partners has always enjoyed a strong identity, and this identity is what I want to develop and intensify jointly with the team. Hasan & partners has always been internationally oriented in terms of its customers as well as its employees, and it is a frontrunner in Finland and other Nordic countries in this respect. The diversity of teams and perspectives is key to achieving superior results. I’m returning to Finland as if to a new country, my eyes open, without expectations, but with great enthusiasm,” says Riku.

His long spell in global chains, working with big customers, has helped Riku grow professionally and offered him perspectives on different ways of doing things.

“Independent agencies like hasan & partners can take a bolder, more agile and playful approach than faceless holding companies or consultancies. Our team has all the power and responsibility, but is also accountable for any mistakes. That puts us in a great place. I’ve always been a growth leader and believe that with hasan & partners’ combination of creativity, design and strategy we can help our customers grow while also securing our own growth,” says Riku.

In addition to Helsinki, Riku has built an international career in Singapore and Kenya, in charge of marketing communication of globally recognised brands. 

“Brands like Coca-Cola, Google or Diageo, known worldwide, must have a local appeal and significance. This calls for continuous learning and development, as well as ever greater insight into customers and audiences. I believe that curiosity and boldness will help our agency further solidify its position as a long-term partner for business and brand building. Brand is the most important asset of a company – everything else can be copied. Tactical operations and performance marketing alone will not help you succeed in global competition,” Riku adds. 

Having spent nearly a decade outside Finland, Riku is now looking forward to his homecoming. The country has developed and progressed in leaps and bounds while he has been away.

“I’m excited to contribute to the next chapter of hasan & partners and help create new Finnish success stories that may help not only Finland but perhaps the world at large. While it’s true that my career progress has benefited from people abroad mistaking me for a Swede, I believe that Finland has every chance to become a trailblazer in global marketing. I never would’ve considered returning to Finland if I didn’t believe there was competence here to carry out internationally significant creative work. The campaign that hasan & partners carried out for Neste, ‘The most CO2 Friendly Route’, is a good example of this. The whole world will face unparalleled challenges in the decades to come, and they can only be solved with the help of creativity,” he sums up.

Enhanced collaboration between hasan group’s business areas 

The hasan group, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, has revamped itself several times over the years. Its latest recruitment is the next step in the group’s strategy, enhancing cooperation between customer-centric business consultation, brand and customer experience design, and creative marketing communication. 

“We’re getting closer to what the hasan group is at its best. Riku Vassinen provides a great boost to our team, and we now aim to ensure an ever stronger mix of customer-centric operations, design and creativity,” says Simo Kajaste, group CEO. 

Johanna Juuvinmaa will continue to work with brand and customer experience design, while also developing the group’s technology and innovation competence.

“Riku’s personality and experience will offer a new boost to our company, and we’re very pleased to have him on board. We can now focus even more on developing our competence in brand and customer experience design. We’re not building silos, however, but instead joining our competence for the pleasure and benefit of our customers,” says Johanna. 

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Marketing Matters, Tue, 25 Jan 2022 16:52:20 GMT