Matti Lehmus succeeds Peter Vanacker as Neste president & CEO
Photo courtesy of Neste

Matti Lehmus succeeds Peter Vanacker as Neste president & CEO

Finland’s Neste Corporation, the global leader in renewable fuels, announced the appointment of Matti Lehmus as president and CEO effective May 1, 2022. He succeeds Peter Vanacker, who will be the new CEO of LyondellBasell, one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world, with headquarters in Houston, Texas, U.S.A. 

Vanacker will continue to serve as president and CEO of Neste until April 30 and will assume his new role at LyondellBasell no later than June.

Lehmus, who holds a M. Sc. in chemical engineering and an eMBA,  joined Neste in 1998. He has held several key leadership positions during his career in both the oil products business and renewables business at Neste. He has been a member of the Neste Executive Committee since 2009, and currently serves as executive vice president, Renewables Platform. 

“The Board of Directors commenced an international recruitment process immediately after Peter Vanacker’s resignation in December last year. The Board has carefully evaluated several candidates for their suitability to lead Neste’s next steps in delivering profitable growth. I am pleased to note that we found an excellent internal successor who is very well equipped to take over the role,” says Matti Kähkönen, chair of Neste’s Board of Directors. 

“Matti Lehmus has the right experience and expertise to continue executing Neste’s proven growth strategy of becoming a global leader in renewable and circular solutions. His proven track record of major investment projects and M&A, along with his solid leadership and interpersonal skills, will be an excellent combination to ensure Neste’s further success,” Kähkönen says. 

“I have been deeply involved in a number of strategic decisions on Neste’s transformation journey, including the establishment of a production joint venture in the U.S., our Singapore expansion and the planning for a possible next capacity increase investment in Rotterdam. I am very pleased to take the helm at a moment when we are well on our way in the execution phase of our growth strategy, and I am looking forward to continuing our success story together with all my Neste colleagues in the Executive Committee and around the world. I want to thank the Board of Directors for the trust they have placed in me. I am excited about this opportunity to lead a company and people I know well and care about very much,” says Lehmus.

“On behalf of Neste’s Board of Directors, I want to thank Peter Vanacker for his excellent work in making Neste a global leader in renewable and circular solutions. During his time as the CEO, the company has made major investments, expanded its geographical reach and increased the diversity of our personnel. Neste is in a very strong financial position and well prepared for its future expansion. I want to wish Peter all the best in his next role,” says Kähkönen.