Belfast Telegraph

AkzoNobel CEO Ton Buchner stepping down for health reasons

The chief executive of AkzoNobel is to step down due to health reasons after defending the company from a prolonged 27 billion euro (£23.8 billion) takeover attempt.

The Dulux owner said on Wednesday that Ton Buchner will relinquish his role with immediate effect, with Thierry Vanlancker appointed new chief executive.

Most of Mr Buchner's time this year has been spent fighting off an aggressive takeover charge from US chemicals giant PPG Industries, which was supported by activist investor Elliott Advisers.

PPG abandoned its pursuit last month.

Mr Buchner, who joined AkzoNobel in 2012, said: "For me this was an extraordinarily difficult decision to make but my focus must now be on my health."

The company lauded him for "significantly improving" its performance by increasing profitability and cash flow to record levels.

Antony Burgmans, chairman of AkzoNobel's supervisory board, said: "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."

Mr Vanlancker was most recently head of specialty chemicals at AkzoNobel, having joined the company last year.