AkzoNobel: Ton Büchner (CEO)
|Why this is a big quit:
The multinational chemicals company is unfortunately saying goodbye to their CEO, Ton Büchner. Büchner, CEO since 2012, stepped down in July due to health reasons just weeks after fighting off a €27bn takeover assault on the company. Since joining in 2012, Ton more than microscopically improved their performance, increasing cash flow and profitability to record levels. Under his watch, AkzoNobel saw the creation of two high performing businesses: Paints and Coatings and Specialty Chemicals. Büchner mentioned the decision was not an easy one for him given his commitment to the organization, but he needed to shift the focus to his health.
Why this is not as big as the top 10:
While Büchner was responsible for markedly improving the performance of the company, AkzoNobel was well-equipped with a contingency succession already in place. Büchner’s successor, Thierry Vanlacker, ran the multinational company’s specialty chemicals division and has the right mixture of chemicals know-how and leadership experience to drive long-term success.