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AkzoNobel CEO sets 2012 departure date

June 15, 2011

Tom Buchner to succeed Hans Wijers as chief executive.

AkzoNobel, the world's largest maker of paints and coatings, said its chief executive Hans Wijers will resign after the company's annual shareholders' meeting in 2012. The company says Tom Buchner, currently CEO of Swiss industrial conglomerate Sulzer AG, will replace Wijers. Wijers, 60-years old and a former Dutch economics minister, has led the company since 2003. The company did not say why he is quitting, but AkzoNobel weathered the 2008 financial crisis and aftermath relatively well. In April, the company reported a 58 percent increase in first quarter net profit to €128 million ($186 million), on a 16 percent rise in sales to €3.76 billion. During his tenure, Wijers transformed AkzoNobel from a loosely coordinated conglomerate of chemical concerns into a coherent company focused on the paint and coatings and specialty chemicals businesses. The company moved early to establish strong footholds in growth markets in China and around the world. Buchner, a Dutch national, is 45-years old.