Ton Büchner, CEO of AkzoNobel, has stepped down from his position due to health reasons. The company has named Thierry Vanlancker as the new CEO. Büchner joined AkzoNobel in 2012, the company said, and has been responsible for significantly improving the performance of the company, increasing profitability and cash flow to record levels. More recently, he has been a target of criticism over his role in the proposed merger with PPG. He and the AkzoNobel board rebuffed three offers, and lawsuits are proceeding in European courts as a result. Vanlancker 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 of Fluoroproducts for Chemours, the spin-off company of DuPont’s chemical businesses that was formed in 2015. He joined DuPont in 1988 and held a number of senior positions both in Europe and the US, including vice-president of Performance Coatings, and business manager of Refinish Systems across Europe, Middle East and Africa. His successor as head of Specialty Chemicals will be announced in due course. Antony Burgmans, chairman of AkzoNobel’s 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.” Büchner himself 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.”