AkzoNobel NV (AKZOY)  said Wednesday that its CEO, Ton Buchner, will step down immediately due to health concerns.

Buchner, who has led the group since 2012, will be replaced by Thierry Vanlancker, who has been running the group's Specialty Chemicals business, a unit which could be separated as part of a broader strategic review the company announced earlier this year. A new head of the Specialty Chemicals business will be named in due course, the company said.

"It is with great regret that Ton is stepping down due to health reasons," said chairman Antony Burgmans. "He has been an outstanding leader for AkzoNobel, transforming the company and setting it up for future success. His focus on delivering for our customers and operational excellence has driven profitability to record levels, increasing returns to shareholders."

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