AkzoNobel CEO steps down citing health reasons
Ton Büchner recently guided AkzoNobel to success in a prolonged takeover bid with US competitor PPG Industries. The company did not specify the health issues of Büchner, but confirmed the decision is with immediate effect.
AkzoNobel announced yesterday that chief executive Ton Büchner has stepped down with immediate effect due to health reasons.
The company has announced Thierry Vanlancker as the new CEO. 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.
He put in place a solid operational and financial foundation, which enabled the company to recently announce the creation of two focused, high-performing businesses: paints and coatings, and specialty chemicals.
Vanlancker was most recently head of specialty chemicals at AkzoNobel, having joined the company in 2016. A Belgian national, prior to joining AkzoNobel he was president – fluoroproducts for Chemours, the spin-off company of DuPont's chemical businesses formed in 2015.
Antony Burgmans, chairman of the supervisory board, AkzoNobel, commented: “It is with great regret that Ton is stepping down due to health reasons. He has been an outstanding leader for AkzoNobel, transforming the company and setting it up for future success. His focus on delivering for our customers and operational excellence has driven profitability to record levels, increasing returns to shareholders.”
“His passion for the business and personal commitment has helped create a strong culture across the company. He will be greatly missed in the boardroom and by many colleagues of AkzoNobel around the world. I wish Ton well and hope he is now able to focus fully on his own health,” added Burgmans.
‘’AkzoNobel remains focused on delivering for our customers every day. In Thierry Vanlancker we have an outstanding executive who is well placed to continue building momentum for the company. This includes the creation of two focused businesses, delivering sustainable growth and profitability,” remarked Burgmans.
‘’His extensive experience in the chemicals and coatings industry gives him a unique perspective and I look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role as CEO,” said Burgmans.
Büchner, commented: “It was a privilege to work for AkzoNobel and I am extremely proud of all the achievements the team delivered during my five years at the company. AkzoNobel is full of highly engaged, talented and passionate people who deliver every day for our customers and I want to thank all of them for their contribution and support over the years.”
‘’Our commitment to value creation, sustainability, innovation and the communities in which we operate is a major driver of our success,” added Büchner.
“Thierry Vanlancker is a great addition to the team and is well placed to take AkzoNobel forward, delivering long-term value creation for all stakeholders. I wish Thierry all the best,” said Büchner.
"For me this was an extraordinarily difficult decision to make but my focus must now be on my health,” concluded Büchner.
Thierry joined DuPont in 1988 and held a number of senior positions both in Europe and the US, including vice president of performance coatings, and business manager of refinish systems across Europe, Middle East and Africa.
A successor for the head of specialty chemicals will be announced in due course.