Matti Nikkinen

VP Operations

Before joining The Switch, I worked in a building insulation company as head of engineering and the project department. I basically held the same position for 12 years and felt I needed a change. And I certainly got that!

When I signed my contract with The Switch in May 2011, and everything looked very good for the company economically. The new owner AMSC was almost in, and business – especially converters – was booming.

But when I actually began working in the company three months later, a change had happened. Magnet prices had suddenly jumped to extreme highs and new regulations in the Chinese wind business stopped almost all deliveries for quite a long period. The AMSC acquisition did not happen. The future was unclear, and there were not many projects or deliveries.

My superiors and the CEO came to me to say, “Listen Matti, this is only a small disturbance in the market. You should not be too worried about it.” So, I decided to see what the future would bring. But that small disturbance lasted quite a bit longer than anyone anticipated.

In fact, I joined the company exactly at the point after a very rapid acceleration of growth. The company then experienced several years of decline.

During my 10 years here, there have been several ups and downs. At one point, we received an order for 100 permanent magnet generators from the wind company Prokon in Germany. The following week, this company almost went bankrupt – and all orders were cancelled.

The China market was very strong in the beginning for converters. Then, it almost vanished from our business scope. Luckily, we were able to secure permanent magnet generator deliveries for offshore wind turbines with another customer.

But perhaps the biggest change came when Yaskawa acquired The Switch. This has had an important role in developing the company to play a bigger role in the international market.

During my career at The Switch, I have been Engineering Manager, R&D Manager, General Manager – and now for the past one year – VP of Operations.

I have had the opportunity to do different things, and my team has had trust in me. Also, my responsibilities have increased throughout the years. These tasks, including the present one, have been highly motivating. But the biggest thing for me here is the people working in the company, my colleagues and the atmosphere. It is always nice to come to work, feel the common team spirit and mutual goals.

As for us all, there are both positive and not so much positive days at work. But in general, I can say this has been the best workplace in my whole career so far.

Now, 10 years are behind – and I hopefully still have 10 years ahead of me before my well-earned retirement days. And I’m looking forward to continuing cooperation with all of my partners and colleagues.