Breaking: AkzoNobel's Buchner Steps Down
Early Wednesday morning (July 19) global paint and coatings firm AkzoNobel (Amsterdam) announced that CEO Ton Büchner has stepped down effective immediately, citing health reasons.
Büchner, chief executive of AkzoNobel since 2012, helmed the company through this year's merger proposals from PPG Industries (Pittsburgh), during which AkzoNobel resisted attempts to merge, and revealed a new plan to split its Specialty Chemicals business off into a separate entity.
According to AkzoNobel, Thierry Vanlancker, head of the company's Specialty Chemicals business, will take over as CEO of the firm effective immediately. Vanlancker has led AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals since 2016; he previously was employed by DuPont and DuPont spinoff Chemours.
"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," Büchner said in a statement. "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.
"For me this was an extraordinarily difficult decision to make but my focus must now be on my health."
AkzoNobel reported 14.2 billion euros in revenue in 2016; the Dutch firm was the world's second-largest coatings company, after PPG, last year, prior to the Sherwin-Williams Company acquisition of Valspar.
More detail on this breaking story will appear in Thursday's Durability + Design News.