Finnish operator Elisa revealed CEO of airline Finnair Topi Manner would take on its top job from retiring chief Veli-Matti Mattila, with the change of leadership expected on or before 1 March 2024.

Under Mattila’s tenure, Elisa claimed it had become a pioneer for the telecommunications industry and a clear market leader in its field. The outgoing chief has led the company since 2003.

Alongside being CEO of Finnair, Manner was on Elisa’s board of directors until 18 August, when the upcoming leadership transition was announced to the Finnish stock market.

In its statement on Manner’s departure, Finnair said the executive would continue in his current role until starting at Elisa, with the search for a replacement already underway.

The executive has led the airline since 2019 and previously held a number of roles across 17 years at financial services company Nordea.

Finnair credited its outgoing chief for doing a “stellar job in leading Finnair through the double crises of the Covid-19 pandemic and the closure of Russian airspace”.