Responsibility for the management of the company and the proper organisation of its operations is invested in the company's Board of Directors, which is composed of five to ten members. Board members serve for one year at a time and are elected by the General Meeting. According to the Corporate Governance Code's recommendation 10, the majority of Board members shall be independent of the company and at least two of the members representing this majority shall be independent of significant shareholders of the company. The Board evaluates the independence of the members annually and re-evaluates as necessary.
The Nomination Committee prepares the proposal for the General Meeting regarding the election of the directors for the Board, and communicates with significant shareholders, when required, on matters pertaining to the proposal. The proposal for the composition of the Board is included in the Notice of the General Meeting. The same applies to a proposal for the composition of the Board made by shareholders with at least 10% of the votes carried by the company shares, provided that the candidates have given their consent to the election and the company has received information on the proposal sufficiently in advance as to be included in the Notice of the General Meeting. The candidates proposed shall be disclosed separately in corresponding order. Wärtsilä publishes the biographical details of the candidates for the Board on its website in connection with publication of the Notice of the General Meeting.
The Board elects a chairman and a deputy chairman from among its members. The Board steers and supervises the company's operations and decides on policies, goals, and strategies of major importance. The principles applied by the Board to its regular work are set out in the Board Charter. The Board also approves the rules of procedure applied by the Board's committees setting out their main tasks and working principles. In addition to matters requiring its decision, the Board is also given updates at its meetings on the Group's operations, financial position and risks.
The Board conducts an annual self-evaluation of its operations and working methods. The purpose of this evaluation is to assess how the Board has executed its tasks during the year and to act as a basis for developing Board functions.
The Board of Directors convenes 7-10 times a year following a pre-determined schedule. In addition to these meetings, the Board convenes as necessary. All meetings are documented.
In order for the Board of Directors to discharge its duties in the most effective manner, the Board must be highly qualified and sufficiently diverse. When preparing its proposal for the Board composition, the Nomination Committee takes into account the educational and professional background of the individual candidates, as well as international experience so that the board composition represents a wide variety of competencies and qualifications. The Nomination Committee also takes into account the candidates’ age, as having different seniority level on the Board is considered beneficial in terms of ensuring mutually complementing experience. Wärtsilä’s principle with regard to gender is to have members of both genders represented on the Board. In December 2015, Wärtsilä had two female board members out of eight members in total. The objective of the Company is to over time achieve a more balanced representation of both genders on the Wärtsilä Board. Wärtsilä shall report on the means and the progress in achieving the gender related objectives in its Corporate Governance Statement for the year 2016.
The Nomination Committee assesses the potential candidates not only in terms of their individual qualifications and characteristics, but also in terms of their ability to effectively work together and jointly support and challenge the company management in a proactive and constructive way.
Board of Directors in 2015
As of 5 March 2015, the Board consisted of the following eight members: Ms Maarit Aarni-Sirviö, Mr Kaj-Gustaf Bergh, Mr Sune Carlsson (deputy chairman), Mr Tom Johnstone, Mr Mikael Lilius (chairman), Mr Risto Murto, Ms Gunilla Nordström and Mr Markus Rauramo.
All eight Board members were determined to be independent of the company and six members were determined to be independent of significant shareholders. Mr Tom Johnstone was determined to be dependent of significant shareholders due to his position on the board of Investor AB. Based on the Board of Directors’ overall evaluation, Mr Sune Carlsson was determined to be dependent of significant shareholders due to long-term board positions within the Investor Group.
Until 5 March 2015, the Board consisted of the following nine members: Ms Maarit Aarni-Sirviö, Mr Kaj-Gustaf Bergh (deputy chairman), Mr Sune Carlsson, Mr Alexander Ehrnrooth, Mr Paul Ehrnrooth, Mr Mikael Lilius (chairman), Mr Risto Murto, Ms Gunilla Nordström and Mr Markus Rauramo.
During 2015, Wärtsilä's Board of Directors held 11 meetings. The average attendance of all directors was 100%. The financial and strategic development of Wärtsilä and its position in the markets, its growth opportunities, and the general further development of the Company have been, among other things, the major items on the Board's agenda. People matters and succession planning are an important and continuous part of the Board’s work, as they contribute to the long-term success of the Company. In 2015, appointing the new President & CEO and ensuring a smooth transition of responsibilities were central themes in the Board’s work. Another area of focus was the acquisition of L-3 Marine Systems International and the overseeing of the resultant integration process. Other matters on the agenda have been items related to Wärtsilä’s operational environment.