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Clariant: appoints former AkzoNobel executive as new CEO

( - Clariant has named former AkzoNobel executive Conrad Keijzer as its new chief executive as from next year, as the Swiss company is initiating the next phase of its transformation plan into a high-value specialty chemicals company.

Keijzer, who will join 1 January 2021, most recently was CEO at Imerys, a French supplier of mineral-based specialty materials. During his 24-year tenure at Dutch paint and coating maker AkzoNobel, he served as CEO of the group's performance coatings unit.

The appointment was fully supported by Clariant's two major shareholders, Saudi Arabia's chemicals group Sabic and Germany's Süd-Chemie legacy shareholders.

With the move, interim executive chairman Hariolf Kottmann will return to his position as chairman of the board, Clariant said.

Clariant - which sold its healthcare packaging business last year and its masterbatches unit earlier this year - is preparing to slim down its business further by selling its pigments unit.

Conrad Keijzer, who is 52 years old, is a Dutch citizen.

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