Swiss colour and speciality chemicals maker Archroma has named Heike van de Kerkhof as CEO, replacing Alexander Wessels who is taking on a wider role within the company's owner SK Capital.

Wessels has been CEO since the company was established in October 2013. He has now been appointed as vice-chairman of the board of directors and will take on a senior advisory role within SK Capital working across its portfolio of investments, which includes Archroma.

SK Capital acquired the Textile Chemicals, Paper Specialties, and Emulsions businesses of Clariant Corporation in September 2013. The three divisions were combined into an integrated company and were renamed Archroma.

van de Kerkhof joins the business from Castrol where she held the role of vice president, Western Hemisphere, and was responsible for a business generating US$2bn in annual revenues. Prior to BP, she held a variety of business leadership, commercial and operations roles at DuPont and The Chemours Company.

Wessels says: "We are coming off another record year in terms of profitability and the business is uniquely positioned to capitalise 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."

van de Kerkhof adds: "The investments made into research and technology during the first stage of SK Capital's ownership have positioned Archroma to reach new levels of growth and success."

Among Archroma's latest developments are a new formaldehyde-free low temperature curing binder to tackle some of the challenges of pigment printing; a new range of high wet-fast disperse dyes for polyester fibres in sportswear and activewear applications; and an eco-friendly dye that mimics indigo.