Revealed: Huge pay-off for Metsähallitus CEO

The forest management boss is the second senior employee at a state-run organisation to have his high salary revealed this week.

File picture showing aerial view of Finnish forest with road through the middle / Credit: iStock

The CEO of state-owned forest agency Metsähallitus, Pentti Hyttinen, is in line for a huge pay-off bonus.

Hyttinen announced last week that he will resign his position from 1st September.

Under the terms of his contract, even though he resigned voluntarily, Hyttinen is set to receive six months salary, and severance pay equal to another six months salary.

With a monthly salary of €17,000 this means Hyttinen will be paid €204,000.

There are also likely to be bonuses on top of this for the period of January to August.

Hyttinen has been in charge of Metsähallitus since 2016 and he would still have
had two more years left on his position, but he announced his resignation last Thursday as the Metsähallitus board members were about to discuss a recent report into his leadership.

Hyttinen himself said he was resigning due to family issues, but the Chairman of the Metsähallitus Board hinted to Rural Future newspaper that there might be other reasons for his resignation.

“I would still have a two-year term as CEO remaining in the company, but in this situation I feel that fulfilling the job does not allow me the flexibility I need right now” the outgoing CEO says in a statement.

“In my opinion it is better for Metsähallitus to have this job performed by someone who is fully committed to it” he said.

Metsähallitus is responsible for managing around one third of Finland’s land and water. The organisation employs 1200 people at 40 locations across Finland.

Backlash over high salaries in state-run organisations

The resignation of Hyttinen, and revelations about his salary payout, come at a time when there has been a public and political outcry about how much top staff at state-run organisations earn.

This week it was reported that the CEO of Posti, Finland’s fully state-owned postal service, gets €82,000 per month.

That news broke at the same time as Posti announced plans to transfer the collective bargaining agreement for 700 parcel workers to a new union. This would have meant 30% to 50% pay cuts for those staff.

The government says it will be looking into the issue of high salaries at enterprises where the state is a stakeholder.