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Akzo’s Gunning Moves to Parcels From Paint to Oversee TNT

TNT Incoming CEO Tex Gunning
Tex Gunning, managing director of decorative paints for Akzo Nobel NV. Photographer: Jock Fistick/Bloomberg

TNT Express NV tapped Tex Gunning as chief executive officer, relying on the former head of Akzo Nobel NV’s paint subsidiary to lead the package-delivery company in the wake of a failed takeover by United Parcel Service Inc.

Gunning, 62, will take up the post in June, pending approval from the supervisory board, TNT Express said today. Bernard Bot, who became interim CEO Sept. 24 following the departure of Marie-Christine Lombard, will become chief financial officer, while interim CFO Jeroen Seyger will assume another senior financial position within the company, TNT said.

“Tex’s extensive business experience and track record in successfully turning around businesses and delivering results make him the ideal candidate in this critical time for” TNT Chairman Antony Burgmans said in the statement. Burgmans also sits on the supervisory board of Akzo Nobel.

The proposed appointment of the 62-year-old Dutchman comes after Atlanta-based UPS on Jan. 14 halted its 5.16 billion-euro ($6.8 billion) bid for TNT as European regulators opposed the deal. Gunning’s resignation as head of Akzo Nobel’s decorative paints business was announced earlier this month.

TNT on Feb. 18 said it will cut costs and reduce its aircraft fleet as parts of a stand-alone strategy, after the failed takeover attempt flushed a break-up fee of 200 million euros into the corporate coffers.

“He also seems an intermediary, but in a way the right person for the time being, looking at his experience in turnaround situations,´´ Andre Mulder, an equity analyst at Kepler Capital Markets in Amsterdam, said in a note to clients. ‘‘The strategic changes would be better made by a new CEO with industry experience.´´

TNT Express rose as much as 86 cents, or 1.6 percent, to 5.6 euros in Amsterdam. The stock, which lost half its value on the day UPS pulled its takeover bid in January, has lost 33 percent this year.

Gunning joined Akzo, the world’s largest paint maker, in 2008 to head its decorative paints business. Gunning had previously made his mark as CEO of Vedior NV, a Dutch employment company that he sold to Randstad Holding NV for 3.5 billion euros in 2007.

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