Akzo CEO Overhauls Decorative Paint Management to Meet Goal

Akzo Nobel NV, the maker of Dulux paint, will strip away management levels at its household coatings business to help meet 2015 goals.

The Dutch company will create centralized roles overseeing areas such as human resources, research and development, and supply chain on a global basis, it said today in a statement. The move will free local management in five geographic regions to focus on sales, the company said.

“We divested our North American activities to focus on key markets in Europe and the world’s high growth regions and this intended reorganization of our management set-up and operating model is a major step towards reducing complexity,” said Ruud Joosten, who oversees Akzo’s Decorative Paints business.

The overhaul, effective Jan. 1, is the latest move by Chief Executive Officer Ton Buechner as he tackles a sprawling company whose operations span commodity chemicals such as chlorine to cosmetic ingredients. Amsterdam-based Akzo retreated from the U.S. decorative paint market, and is facing increased competition in areas such as marine coatings and wood finishes from companies such as Sherwin-Williams Co.

Shares of Akzo were little changed at 49.74 euros in the Dutch capital as of 9:43 a.m.

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