UPDATE 1-TNT Express names former AkzoNobel executive as new CEO

Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:46am EST

AMSTERDAM Feb 25 (Reuters) - Troubled Dutch delivery firm TNT Express has appointed Tex Gunning, the former head of AkzoNobel's paints business as its new chief executive to turn the business around following the collapse of UPS's takeover offer.

Gunning, 62, replaces Marie-Christine Lombard, who quit in September. Bernard Bot, who was interim CEO at TNT Express after Lombard resigned, will stay on as chief financial officer.

TNT Express, whose $7 billion takeover by United Parcel Service was blocked last month, reported a fourth-quarter loss last week and said it would sell units in Brazil and China and cut costs as it prepares for a future alone.

Gunning, who also worked for 25 years in various roles at Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever, said he supported those measures to improve profitability.

"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 the company," said Antony Burgmans, head of the firm's supervisory board, in a statement.

As head of AkzoNobel's decorative paints operations, Gunning worked on integrating ICI's paints business and cutting losses at the group's troubled North American paints unit.

In the last six months, under its new chief executive Ton Buechner, AkzoNobel took a huge writedown on its purchase of Dulux paint maker ICI and sold the struggling North American decorative paints arm to U.S. rival PPG Industries for $1.1 billion to focus Europe and higher-growth markets.