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Tharsus Group has appointed Joni Rautavuori as its new CEO, bringing 25 years of industrial automation experience to the Blyth-based robotics company.

As CEO, Rautavuori will oversee Tharsus Groups’ sub-companies, Tharsus, the machines and robotics firm, and metal fabrication company Universal Wolf. The company’s founder, Brian Palmer, will continue in his role while supporting the new CEO.

Between 2015 and 2020, Rautavuori led ABB’s Global Robots & Solutions business from the UK and headed early-phase tech companies with a focus on sustainability as a CEO.

Brian Palmer, founder of Tharsus Group, said: “Joni is the ideal person to deliver the next phase of growth for Tharsus Group as its new CEO and contributes impressive commercial experience in the manufacturing and robotics space. Joni is also adept at building and leading collaborative teams. His expertise will help shape the company as we expand our core business areas and build new offerings.”

Rautavuori  said: “I believe the business and its people are well placed to help industry unlock transformative opportunities and I look forward to being part of its continued success.”

Tharsus has been partnered with Ocado since 2012, helping design the online grocery delivery company’s autonomous warehouse robots.

In 2021, Tharsus Group added former Dyson CEO Martin McCourt as a member of its board. Earlier last year, the company acted as a consultant to launch Connect-R, which is said to be the “world’s first modular robot designed to build emergency structures modular robot designed to build emergency structures”. Tharsus delivered engineering and development support on this project.

Tharsus Group was also selected to join Tech Nation’s Future Fifty programme, which is one of Europe’s growth programmes for late-stage tech scale-ups. Tharsus reported a revenue increase of 40% in 2021, along with doubled pre-tax profits.

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