AkzoNobel CEO Ton Büchner steps down with immediate effect – Thierry Vanlancker announced as new CEO of AkzoNobel

July 19, 2017

AkzoNobel announces today that Chief Executive Ton Büchner steps down with immediate effect due to health reasons. The company has announced Thierry Vanlancker as the new CEO.

Ton 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.

Thierry 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, 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.

‘’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.

‘’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.”

Ton 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.

“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.

"For me this was an extraordinarily difficult decision to make but my focus must now be on my health.”

Thierry joined DuPont in 1988 and held a number of senior positions both in Europe and the US, including Vice-President 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.

Meet the YP Committee

The Young Professionals network is a unique organization, built for its members to feel at home. Driven individuals from all kind of professions and companies sharing their love for Swedish traditions and culture as well as their eagerness to learn and celebrate the Dutch ways of doing things. Many of the YP members have a rich international background having studied, lived or worked in many countries. This gives the network a unique mix of people and renowned dynamic atmosphere.

The YP Committee is crucial for the Swedish Chamber to monitor and support the network. The YP Committee’s commitment and motivation is the foundation for the continuous organization of activities for the YP Members. They provide platforms where YP Members can feel at home and get to know new people, meet friends and build a professional network that can be valuable not only for business purposes but for social development. Simply put - place for Business and Pleasure. The YP Committee listens to the demands and needs of the YP Members and takes advantage of their great network to share and achieve great events and networking opportunities. The Members of the YP Committee all have a big interest and knowledge in Swedish/Dutch activities and bilateral developments and they also have an extensive network to support their cause. At this moment, the YP Committee is busy preparing the Young Professionals 10 Year Anniversary. Yes, that is right! YP has already been around for 10 years within the Swedish Chamber of Commerce. If you do the math you will soon realize how many Young Professionals who have been attending events as Queen’s Day, King’s Day, Lucia, Company presentations and After Works. Let us all join forces for a grand evening celebrating the network and all the greatness YP have succeeded with over the years. Welcome to the Young Professionals 10 Year Anniversary on September 22. For more information please see upcoming events! YP Committee today consists of 5 members of the Young Professionals together with Johanna Lundmark - intern Swedish Chamber of Commerce Elin Hellquist - Chairperson Sophie Hansson Henrik Enkel Larsson Magnus Nolgren Rens Ramakers  
Meet Mr. Mikael Damberg, the Swedish Minister of Enterprise and Innovation

Welcome to join the Swedish Chamber of Commerce for a 2-days visit to Stockholm August 31 - Sep 1, 2017 to dive into the Innovation and Startup Scene of Stockholm and to participate in the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce Word Trade Day with , among others  Mr. Mikael Damberg, the Swedish Minister of Enterprise and Innovation speaking about Innovation and Technology’s Contribution to Growth and Job Creation. 

André Veneman, Corporate Director, Sustainability Akzo Nobel

Keynote Speaker #NordicTalks 2017 October 10

Sustainability as a driver for shared value

In Akzo Nobel we have embraced sustainability as a value driver, supporting our:

-          Purpose

-          Core principle

-          Brand equity

-          Employee value proposition

-          Innovation, technology and resource productivity programs

We have a strong conviction that all technologies are present to ensure that by 2050 nine billion global citizens can enjoy decent living standards within the boundaries of one Planet. That’s why we are optimists and why our sustainability strategy is called Planet Possible. However, it is obvious that required changes will not come easy. Our business will have to contribute to a deep transition in those market segments where all energy and raw materials are used:  Building & Infrastructure; Transport & Mobility; Consumer Goods; Food & Agri and new Industrial Applications.  Over the past fifteen years AkzoNobel has firmly moved sustainability from Integrated thinking to Integrated Business strategy, Integrated Management and Integrated reporting. Definitely all Akzo Nobel managers are familiar with our slogan:  Sustainability is business and business is sustainability. As chemicals industry we can contribute significantly in reaching these global goals through our core business activities – providing a new lens on creating long-term and shared value - in economic, environmental and social terms. The context of sustainability is ever changing. More recently the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement have set a clear direction for a more sustainable society.  Leading companies have embraced these goals because they provide such a clear compass for business growth and development.  The changing world requires that we focus on CO2-reduction in our own processes and across the value chain, radical resource productivity, technical innovation and the production of safer chemicals that improve the quality of people’s lives. Indeed no company can drive this transition alone. Obviously positive change depends on strong partnerships between business partners and end-users. Even more importantly, economic development, employment, circular use of materials and carbon reduction can be further accelerated by new partnerships  between the private sector, government, civil society and expertise centers. Generating a great opportunity to make a significant contribution to a sustainable society.