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AkzoNobel Announces Management Changes

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

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Recent changes in personnel and structure were announced last week by global coatings manufacturer AkzoNobel, including the official appointment of CEO Thierry Vanlancker to the Board of Management.

"Thierry is an outstanding executive who is well placed to take AkzoNobel forward. This includes the creation of two focused businesses, delivering sustainable growth and profitability,” Antony Burgmans, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, said in a statement.

Vanlancker had previously served as the head of Specialty Chemicals, and joined the company in 2016.

CFO Changes

Also at the Sept. 8 meeting, AkzoNobel said Chief Financial Officer Maëlys Castella, who is also a member of the Board of Management, has taken a temporary leave of absence for health reasons.

Thierry Vanlancker

AkzoNobel recently announced changes in management, including the official appointment of CEO Thierry Vanlancker onto the Board of Management.

Group Controller Hans De Vriese will be acting as CFO in the interim, but AkzoNobel is searching for a permanent replacement. Castella is expected to return after her leave of absence to take another senior management role, however.

“Maëlys has been an integral part of establishing the solid financial foundation and culture of operational excellence that AkzoNobel now has in place,” Vanlancker said. “We wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to having her back on our team once fully recovered.

“In Hans De Vriese we have an extremely capable executive with extensive experience, who will ensure continuity at this time as we embark on a full internal and external search for a permanent replacement."

In July, AkzoNobel CEO Ton Büchner resigned, also citing health reasons, leading to Vanlancker's installation.

Management Structure

To pave the way for its split into separate Paints and Coatings and Specialty Chemicals businesses, AkzoNobel also revealed a new management structure for the Paints and Coatings segment.

The new structure is fully integrated, aiming to increase customer focus, and is based on four regional Paints business units along with four integrated Coatings business units, accounting for full profit and loss responsibility.


To pave the way for its split into separate Paints and Coatings and Specialty Chemicals businesses, AkzoNobel has revealed a new management structure for the Paints and Coatings segment.

AkzoNobel is also taking steps to meet market challenges.

"Current challenges in the paints and coatings markets are having a wider and greater impact as the year continues and we are dealing with these head-on,” Vanlancker said. “Our new management structure will increase customer focus, drive further operational excellence, and build greater momentum and speed.

“AkzoNobel is delivering growth and the organization changes we are making will pave the way for the creation of two focused businesses,” he added. “These changes will help us deliver a stronger 2017 than 2016, despite dealing with current market challenges, and help to ensure we achieve our 2020 financial guidance."

AkzoNobel first announced the plan to split its Specialty Chemicals business off into a separate business in March, when rival PPG Industries (Pittsburgh) made the first of a series of unsolicited merger proposals that the Dutch firm rebuffed.


Tagged categories: AkzoNobel; Business management; Business matters

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