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Archroma Appoints New CEO to Continue Sustainability Efforts

Specialty chemicals company Archroma announced on Tuesday the appointment of new CEO Heike van de Kerkhof, an executive with years of experience generating billions of dollars in revenue at major corporations.

Van de Kerkhof joins the company from Castrol, the lubricant division of BP plc where she was vice president of the western hemisphere.

Alexander Wessels, Archroma’s former CEO and a member of Rivet’s 50 in 2018, will be appointed vice chairman of the company’s board of directors and will take on a senior advisory role within SK Capital working across its portfolio of investments, including Archroma.

“I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to work with SK Capital and the Archroma team over the past six and a half years, which has really been an incredible journey,” Wessels said in a statement. “We are coming off another record year in terms of profitability and the business is uniquely positioned to capitalize on its significant momentum moving forward.

“For me personally, this is the ideal moment to take on my next challenge, and in Heike we have found the ideal person to pass the baton to,” Wessels added. “We look forward to a seamless transition and I am excited to continue to support the company as a member of the board of directors.”

Under Wessels’ leadership, Archroma developed what are now perhaps its most impactful innovations: aniline-free indigo and EarthColors, which are non-toxic forms of dye widely adopted by the denim industry.

Kerkhof is committed to continuing Archroma’s focus on sustainability.

“I have a true passion for innovation and sustainability, and I am thrilled to join Archroma as its next CEO,” van de Kerkhof said. “The company has established itself as a leader in sustainable chemistry based on its strong technology-driven product portfolio with a solid foundation to further build upon.”