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Global smiley-feedback company HappyOrNot, appoints CFO and three new VPs to attract US business and accommodate international growth

HappyOrNot (, the company behind the Smiley-faced instant customer feedback insights solution, relied upon by the likes of Elkjøp, Levi’s Stadium, Autogrill, Good2Go stores, and London Heathrow Airport, announces the appointment of four new hires to join its executive management team – Tim Waterton as VP of Sales & Customer Success, Tomi Suoniemi as VP of Engineering & Product, Gina Nelson as VP of US Operations & Global HR Lead, and Elina Pahta-Erma as CFO.  

Based in the UK, Tim Waterton has over 20 years of sales experience leading and building revenue teams at global technology and software companies. Prior to joining HappyOrNot, Tim was Regional VP of Sales at M-Files, one of Finland’s most successful SaaS companies, where he was responsible for coordinating sales, marketing and business development strategies for the UK market. Earlier in his career, Tim held prominent roles with the London Stock Exchange and Accenture, before co-founding two startups that subsequently exited to BMC Software and Teradata respectively. Tim’s international experience and time spent working in US will help HappyOrNot to boost their presence in its strategically important  markets. 

To further bolster its roster, resident Finns, Tomi Suoniemi and Elina Pahta-Erma, join the HappyOrNot management team, bringing with them a wealth of experience and expertise in their respective fields.

Tomi, who joins as VP of Engineering & Product, has more than 20 years of experience in the technology sector. Tomi’s previous assignment was with RUAG Space, where he was CEO of RUAG Space Finland Oy and GM of Electronics product unit. RUAG Space is Europe’s largest independent supplier of space electronics products to the industry. His credentials also include 17 years working for Microsoft and Nokia. At Microsoft he was acting as a Product Director and Principal Program Manager at Smartphone business area. During his +10 year tenure at Nokia, Tomi was promoted 6 times, reaching Director of Product Management Operations in 2011. Previously, Tomi had worked at telecommunications and mobile phone related businesses in R&D and Product Management roles.

Elina Pahta-Erma, who first joined HappyOrNot back in 2018 as Group Financial Controller, has been officially appointed as CFO, progressing a decade long career background in accounting and financial advising. Along with her accounting credentials, Elina also brings with her over 6 years of financial and operational experience working with SaaS companies, further ratifying her appointment. 

Finally, with over two decades of experience as an HR professional, Gina Nelson, who is based in HappyOrNot’s Florida office, has been appointed as VP of US Operations & Global HR Lead. Upon joining the company back in 2018, Gina was responsible for establishing HappyOrNot’s US HR department, and since then has successfully paved the way for HappyOrNot’s rapid business growth in America.

HappyOrNot announcement PR header

Tim Waterton, HappyOrNot’s VP of Sales & Customer Success – who will be responsible for the driving new business in the US and overseas, while overseeing all revenue-generating functions and commercial development – comments: “Having worked extensively with data and analytics companies in the past, I know the value of delivering insights that drive real business impact. I am delighted to be joining HappyOrNot as a company dedicated  to delivering innovative insight and feedback solutions in the customer experience space. I look forward to leaning on my experience to build a scalable revenue architecture that enables HappyOrNot to increase market share and expand into new territories and sectors.”   

As HappyOrNot’s VP of Engineering & Product, Tomi Suoniemi will be looking after and overseeing global R&D, Product Creation (Software and Hardware), product management and overall product competitiveness. Tomi comments: “Having worked in product management for over two decades, I know how important having a robust, practical and considered product is. I am impressed with how HappyOrNot have created sleek and intuitive software and hardware products to bridge the feedback gap, and I am eager to explore how we can continue to develop and expand the full range of products, to ensure that HappyOrNot stays at the forefront of digital innovation.  

Elina Pahta-Erma, HappyOrNot’s CFO – who will lead the company’s Global Operations Team, including Finance, HR, Legal & Business Services – comments: “These are extremely exciting times for HappyOrNot. Over the last three years, I have seen the company continue to grow and consolidate its revenue, and I am optimistic and confident of the financial opportunities that lie ahead. As competition continues to increase in the new normal, HappyOrNot’s feedback systems are fast becoming a necessity for any online and physical business that wants to better understand their customers and employees.” 

As VP of US Operations & Global HR Lead, Gina Nelson  will continue to develop and execute strategic business plans to activate further growth in the US, meanwhile expanding her HR remit to oversee and implement global initiatives and practices. Gina, comments: “Over the last few years HappyOrNot has invested significant time and resources into laying the foundations and building momentum in the US, now with an expanding team we have a wonderful opportunity to set new objectives and take our international operations to the next level.”     

Existing management team includes, Miika Mäkitalo (CEO), Heikki Väänänen (Founder & Executive VP of Growth), Milla Ikonen (VP of Marketing), and Nuudia Laan-Kaari (Strategy & Go-To-Market Manager).