Photo: Tapio Mustasaari

Pekka Vennamo

Director General 1989–1998

Vennamo (1944– ) succeeded his father Veikko Vennamo as the Chairman of the Finnish Rural Party. He was a Member of Parliament from 1972–1975 and 1979–1989, and Minister for Transport from 1987–1989. Vennamo was a new kind of folksy leader. He was interested in spectator sports, bowling and darts. Vennamo became Sonera's CEO in 1998 after reforms were carried out at Post and Telecommunications.

Postal History in Finland

  • Post and Telecommunications' position as a central administrative board dependent on the state budget ended in 1990.
  • Åland Post was separated from Post and Telecommunications in 1993.
  • Posti-Tele was incorporated in 1994, and Suomen PT Group Oy was founded to run the operations through its subsidiaries Finland Post Corporation and Telecom Finland Oy.
  • The group structure was demerged in 1998, and Posti and Tele became separate companies. Tele became Sonera.
  • The competition intensified and the communications market changed.
  • In 1990, Postipankki announced that it was closing around 1,900 branches over the following two years. A similar announcement followed in 1996: more than 400 branches were to be closed over the following two years.
  • In 1991, Post and Telecommunications announced that it was closing more than 1,800 post offices that year.
  • The Post actively introduced new technology, computers and mobile phones.
  • Post offices began setting up electronic point of sale systems in the late 1980s.
  • There were more electric vehicles in the Post's delivery fleet.
  • Mail transport by rail was discontinued in 1995.
  • 1,913 million items delivered in 1995.
  • Number of international deliveries: 56.3 million in 1995.
  • 1,839 postal outlets in 1995, of which 48 were postal services vans. Only one carriage remained in the route from Helsinki to Rovaniemi.
  • Staff: 32,218 in 1995.


  • The recession and mass unemployment of the early 1990s.  The markka was devalued twice.
  • The world's first GSM call was made in Finland over the Radiolinja network in 1991.
  • The Kummeli TV series started in 1991 and was at the peak of its popularity in 1994.
  • The Bold and the Beautiful first broadcast in 1992.
  • The extent of Åland's autonomy was expanded in 1993. The province was granted the right to issue its own passports and run its own postal services.
  • The car ferry M/S Estonia sank in the Baltic Sea in a storm in 1994.
  • Finland joined the EU in 1995.
  • The ice hockey World Championship gold medal in 1995.
  • Mika Häkkinen won his first Formula 1 Grand Prix at the European Grand Prix in Spain in 1997.
  • The fourth national TV channel, Nelonen, launched in 1997.
  • President of Finland: Martti Ahtisaari (Social Democratic Party) 1994–2000.
  • Population 5.1 million in 1995.

Global Events

  • The Berlin Wall fell in 1989.
  • Information technology improved. The World Wide Web was invented at CERN, and computers and the Internet were more commonly used. The construction of GSM networks began and mobile phones became commonplace.
  • The first known website was written in 1990.
  • The Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. Boris Yeltsin was elected the president of the Russian Federation.
  • Dolly the sheep, the first cloned mammal, was born in 1996.
  • Princess Diana died in a car crash in 1997.