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Cyber security’s cool, calm investigator

Michael Sandelson

30.04.19 3 min. read

Some people like reading a good detective book, others enjoy watching sleuths solve crime riddles on TV. Mikko Röntynen does both with a philanthropic spirit.

F-Secure’s head of B2B Product Marketing Division confesses he has always been a techie and interested in bigger causes that transcend pure profit-hunting.

“I got into cyber security because it’s the coolest thing! It combines technology and a ‘how can I do something good for society’ attitude,” he says.

Mikko, who can be seen at headquarters (always) looking chill and (sometimes) wearing dark glasses, listens, interprets, and investigates. He works at the intersection of products / technology and markets / customers.

“My job allows me to combine understanding of technology with knowledge about customer needs and market evolution, translating internal technical jargon into the ‘why’ for customers. On top of this, the stories in the cyber security space are just as exciting as any good crime novels or TV shows,” elaborates the B2B PM boss.

Cutting to the chase

Product Marketing might be a field that is crystal clear for industry aficionados, but may seem more diffuse for those on the outside. He explains that it is “about building value propositions and messaging about our products for different audiences.”

“We want to include customer, partner, and market evolution insights in product portfolio decisions too,” he adds.

Pavel Turbin, who works at F-Secure as Lead Product Architect, mentions that Mikko is good at capturing fuzzy customer wishes and turning them into reality.

“I believe this is very much about understanding what they are really after, and only then thinking what the best way to solve it is,” says Mikko. “This is more difficult than it sounds sometimes, though, especially if those wishes are only conveyed to you via others in cases where I don’t have a direct connection to the customers.”

At the same time, being desk-bound is not his cup of tea. He finds it difficult to sit still, being an outdoorsy type.

“The nicest part of my job is when I have the opportunity to talk with partners and customers. This is why I truly enjoy visiting events and trade shows, as there is always plenty of interaction with customers. What I find challenging sometimes is to find the right balance of managing and coaching my team vs. doing and participating in hands-on topics myself.”

Sagacious shades

“I live in an old house that my grandfather built, far away from the city. This means I spend much of my free time on gardening, maintenance, and renovations – which I enjoy. I’m also a big sports fan, play floorball twice-a-week, and follow all the major football games, even though I don’t play it myself anymore,” he adds.

Like the best TV detectives, Mikko exudes an air of experienced calm. He recalls just a few of the many memorable moments in his life so far, both professional and personal.

“The day when I moved over to Germany to work there as an expat. I was only 22 years old, and had never been in an airplane before. Then there was obviously the births of my three children. I still remember them like they happened yesterday, even though they already have their own homes and lives,” he remarks.

Donning his sunglasses, he explains his secret when it comes to looking generally laid-back, also being a keen listener of old vinyl LPs.

“I think it’s more about my personality. I always try to think matters through thoroughly before jumping to conclusions. Or maybe it’s the combination of age and having seen quite a few crisis situations. You get to understand that things will sort themselves out, one way or another,” concludes Mikko.

Michael Sandelson

30.04.19 3 min. read


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