Virpi Ala-Heikkilä appointed Professor of Practice in Financial Management and Diversity and Inclusion

Virpi Ala-Heikkilä, D.Sc. (Econ. & Bus.Adm.), has been appointed Professor of Practice at the University of Vaasa, effective 1st of May 2023. She holds a doctorate from the University of Vaasa. Ala-Heikkilä is a successful, global CFO and transformation leader with extensive financial and leadership experience in global technology companies. She continues her current work as the Global Controlling Transformation Leader at Hitachi Energy.

Virpi Ala-Heikkilä will promote research, education, and societal impact of the University of Vaasa. She will focus on finance professionals, digital transformation, strategic management accounting and engage in the areas of diversity and inclusion. Ala-Heikkilä will engage in the cooperation with technology and industrial companies, as well as with actors in the field of accounting and finance.

– I am honoured to be appointed Professor of Practice. This new position is a very exciting opportunity to share 25 years of experience to benefit research, education, and business collaboration. I look forward to further strengthening the dialogue between the business community and the University of Vaasa and inspiring lifelong learning, says Ala-Heikkilä.

The dissertation shows how controllers remain prisoners of their operational role

Ala-Heikkilä's doctoral dissertation, published last year, examined the image and role of finance professionals. She has contributed to the University of Vaasa's Digitalisation and Accounting research project and has published research on finance professionals. Ala-Heikkilä has acted as a keynote speaker at various international events, taught at many universities, coached, and mentored finance professionals and CFOs around the globe.

– Virpi will bring cutting-edge knowledge to our university about the best business practices and highlight the changing needs for the future. In research, we will continue our excellent collaboration on new projects in cooperation with the business community, says Professor Marko Järvenpää, Dean of the School of Accounting and Finance at the University of Vaasa.

A professor of practice is expected to hold a doctorate or to have a record of outstanding achievements outside the university as well as experience in managing organisations in the private or public sector. High-level international influencers to society may also be appointed to the position. The position of professor of practice is temporary and filled by invitation.


Further information

Virpi Ala-Heikkilä

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