Croda’s Christie to Leave After Nine Years at Chemical Maker

Croda International Plc said Finance Director Sean Christie plans to step down in April after nine years during which the chemical maker’s revenue trebled to more than 1 billion pounds ($1.7 billion).

Croda will begin an “extensive international search” to find a successor, the Snaith, England-based company said in a statement today. Christie, 56, is looking to “build a portfolio of non-executive positions,” he said.

Christie, a guitarist for the Bluekings in his spare time, helped build Croda into the world’s second-largest supplier of cosmetic ingredients under former CEO Mike Humphrey and current leader Steve Foots. While helping to oversee the integration of the $743 million purchase of Uniqema from Imperial Chemical Industries in 2006, Christie is also treading a path between investor demands for cash returns and hoarding funds for expansion and acquisitions.

“To allow time for his replacement to be found and an orderly transition, Sean will remain finance director and on the board until April 2015,” Croda said in the statement.

Shares of Croda declined 0.5 percent to 23.98 pounds in London as of 9:00 a.m.

Akzo Nobel NV, a competitor in cosmetic ingredients, yesterday announced the appointment of Maelys Castella as chief financial officer. The 47-year-old joins the Dutch maker of paints and specialty chemicals from industrial-gas producer Air Liquide SA, where she was deputy CFO. She succeeds Keith Nichols, who in January announced plans to move on, without giving further details. His family is based in the U.K.

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