AkzoNobel boss Büchner ‘off sick’
THE head of AkzoNobel, the world’s largest paints maker, is on medical leave due to fatigue and has indefinitely postponed a strategy update which analysts had hoped would bolster the Dutch group in a tough economic climate.
Shares in the firm dropped nearly 6 per cent in early trading yesterday after the maker of Dulux paints said that 47-year-old Ton Büchner, who took over as chief executive in April, would be off work until around the first half of October.
“As AkzoNobel is in a critical phase with its restructuring program and setting a new strategy, the absence of the CEO is clearly not good news,” Rabobank analysts wrote in a research note.
“As Ton Büchner previously was the CEO of [Swiss machinery maker] Sulzer, and as such is accustomed to the amount of work needed as a CEO of a listed company, we are a bit surprised by this news,” it said.
AkzoNobel warned of a tough economic environment and high costs for raw materials alongside its second-quarter results in July and said it would announce a strategic update in October at the time of the third-quarter earnings.
That update has been postponed indefinitely, although results will still be released on that date, it said.
Chief financial officer Keith Nichols will be the first point of contact on the executive committee during Büchner’s absence, the firm said.
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