Juuso Walden (1907-1972)
2012 Paper Industry International Hall of Fame Inductee
United Paper Mills
Walden immediately began a major expansion of the new United Paper Mills (now UPM) because he expected strong growth in the global paper demand. The most important mill was the Kaipola newsprint and magazine paper mill, which became, in the early 1960s, the largest of its kind outside the North American continent. Gradually Kaipola mill concentrated on producing super calendared magazine papers.
Under Walden’s leadership, UPM was transformed into a multi business company adding a wide and diversified paper and board converting business for export to the Soviet Union. Later, engineering works and a chemical factory were added to produce equipment and materials for the paper industry. The company also acquired some small mills in other countries, especially in Italy. These acquisitions were, however, not always economically feasible.
Walden was especially interested in the welfare of the personnel. He became a very popular Big Boss when he got involved into building houses so that employees could live in homes of their own. He was also greatly interested in all kinds of sports. He hired several top-level athletes like Olympic Gold Medal Winners and World Champions to work for UPM.
Juuso Walden was one of the most important and visible industrial leaders in Finland. Due to his activities, the mill sites of UPM became models for Finnish industry.
Juuso Walden retired in 1970 and died in 1972.