AMSTERDAM - Matt Pullen, Managing Director of AkzoNobel Decorative Paints UK and Ireland and UK Country Director since January 2015, announced plans to leave the business at the end of May to take on new career challenges outside of AkzoNobel. UK & Ireland Sales Director Alistair McAuley will succeed Pullen.

Pullen joined AkzoNobel in 2010 from Norfolk turkey farming business, Bernard Matthews. His first role was Marketing Director for the UK & Ireland, adding the Northern Europe region to his portfolio in 2011. He masterminded the Inspire strategy, creating a vision for Dulux and its sister brands to be “famous for inspiring and enabling beautiful living spaces.”

Pullen put customer experience at the heart of AkzoNobel’s UK offer, launching a state-of-the-art Customer Centre, a dedicated Customer Experience Team and a range of digital tools, including the Dulux Visualiser, to make selecting paint an easier and more enjoyable experience. In 2016, he established the Dulux Academy, an industry-first training center for decorators, and at the end of 2017 while overseeing the closure of the Slough Manufacturing factory where paint has been made for nearly a 100 years, he was able to celebrate the opening of the world’s most advanced and sustainable paint factory in Ashington.

McAuley joined the organization in 2000 when his family business was acquired by ICI. He has held senior roles in Marketing, Sales and the Dulux Decorator Centre, and was instrumental in establishing and growing business with new and existing customers in a dynamic and fast-changing marketplace. McAuley co-authored the company’s new three-year strategy with Pullen, launched earlier this year, with an ambition to connect and leverage the rich bank of assets created in the Inspire era.

Jan-Piet van Kesteren, Managing Director, Decorative Paints, Europe and Africa, said, “Matt made a vital contribution to AkzoNobel over a critical time. He steered the UK through an unprecedented period of change across the market, in the UK economy and within the business. AkzoNobel’s UK market share continued to grow throughout this time against enormous pressures.

“In Alistair McAuley, we have a worthy successor with significant industry experience in a very wide variety of roles across the business.”