The Supervisory Board of Akzo Nobel N.V. announced that Hans Wijers, CEO, has decided to step down, effective from the annual general meeting (AGM) in 2012. Ton Büchner will take over as CEO (pending AGM approval), effective from the 2012 AGM. Büchner is currently president and CEO of Sulzer AG.

Hans Wijers joined AkzoNobel as a member of the Board of Management in October 2002, and was subsequently appointed CEO in May 2003. Having previously served as minister for economics in the Netherlands and within management consultancy, he determined that the company’s diversity, due to several mergers and acquisitions, was preventing the creation of long-term value for all stakeholders.

He subsequently improved the pipeline of the Pharma business, focused the Chemicals businesses and successfully grew Coatings. Following these changes, he led the transformation of the company by divesting its pharmaceuticals operations and acquiring ICI.

Ton Büchner has been CEO of Sulzer AG since 2007. He joined the company in 1994 and has held a number of operational and leadership roles, including the presidencies of two of its divisions, Sulzer Turbomachinery Services and Sulzer Pumps. He was also chief representative and responsible for Sulzer operations in China.

Büchner received a degree in civil engineering from Delft University of Technology and a master’s of business administration degree from the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), Lausanne, Switzerland.

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