AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands - AkzoNobel intends to introduce a streamlined management structure and new operating model for its Decorative Paints business in hopes of accelerating growth in Europe and high-growth markets.

The planned changes represent the next phase in simplifying the organization and making it more agile and competitive following the recent divestment of the Decorative Paints North America business.

The planned changes - due to come into effect on January 1, 2014 - involve reducing the number of senior management teams and introducing a new top-level Deco structure divided into five regions instead of eight: North and Central Europe, Southeast Europe and Africa, India and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and China and North Asia.

A number of key global functions will also be centralized, including human resources, research and development, supply chain, finance, sourcing, and information management.