AkzoNobel announced today that CEO Ton Büchner has stepped down with immediate effect because of health reasons.
The company has named Thierry Vanlancker as his successor. Büchner joined AkzoNobel in 2012 and has been responsible for significantly improving the performance of the company, increasing profitability and cash flow to record levels, supervisory board chairman Antony Burgmans says. He also put in place the strategy to split the company into two focused businesses; paints and coatings and specialty chemicals.
In September 2012, Büchner took temporary leave of absence after being diagnosed with fatigue, but returned in December that year after a full recovery. More recently he was under pressure from activist shareholders over the company’s handling of the PPG takeover approach, which may have contributed to his latest health problems.
Vanlancker joined AkzoNobel in 2016 and was most recently head of specialty chemicals. Prior to joining AkzoNobel, Vanlancker, a Belgian national, was president, Fluoroproducts for Chemours, the spin-off from DuPont’s chemical businesses, formed in 2015. “In Thierry Vanlancker we have an outstanding executive who is well placed to continue building momentum for the company,” Burgmans says.
Vanlancker joined DuPont in 1988 and held a number of senior positions both in Europe and the United States, including vice-president performance coatings and business manager of refinish systems/Europe, Middle East, and Africa. A successor for head of AkzoNobel specialty chemicals will be announced in due course.
By Natasha Alperowicz
Source: Chemical Week
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