CEO of Akzo Nobel quits after keeping PPG Industries’ takeover offer at bay

Ton Buechner and the company’s Chairman, Antony Burgmans faced a minor rebellion from shareholders for having rejected PPG’s takeover offer.


Ton Buechner, the CEO of Azko Nobel, a Dutch paint manufacturer has stepped down from his role in the company citing health reasons. The move follows two months of fending off a $30.35 billion takeover bid by U.S.-based PPG Industries.

He will now be replaced by Thierry Vanlancker, the company’s chemicals division chief who joined the company in 2016. He will now have to deliver Buechner’s and the company’s Chairman, Antony Burgmans’ promise to shareholders of stronger sales and improved margins, in order to avoid the acquisition.

As per analysts, keeping some these promises will be tough.

“For me this was an extraordinarily difficult decision to make but my focus must now be on my health,” said Buechner in his resignation statement.

Burgmans has declined to elaborate on the details of Buechner’s illness and has instead said, he regretted “only that he has decided to step down.”

Buechner “felt that if he continued to subject himself to the pressures of his office, that would endanger his health,” said Burgmans to reporters on a conference call.

“What caused it, I cannot tell, I’m not a doctor.”

“Buechner has been responsible for overseeing the successful transformation of the business, including portfolio reshaping …, de-risking of the pension funds, cutting costs and driving efficiency gains that have raised both margins and returns,” wrote an analyst at Morgan Stanley in a note.

Akzo is scheduled to reports its second quarter earnings on July 25.


Categories: Creativity, Entrepreneurship, HR & Organization, Strategy

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