Hans Wijers

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Hans Wijers
Hans Wijers 2010.jpg
Hans Wijers in 2010
Minister of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands
In office
22 August 1994 – 3 August 1998
Prime Minister Wim Kok
Preceded by Koos Andriessen
Succeeded by Annemarie Jorritsma
Minister of Finance of the Netherlands
In office
4 June 1996 – 26 June 1996
Prime Minister Wim Kok
Preceded by Gerrit Zalm
Succeeded by Gerrit Zalm
Personal details
Born Gerardus Johannes Wijers
(1951-01-11) 11 January 1951 (age 67)
Oostburg, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Political party Democrats 66 (since 1976)
Alma mater University of Groningen
(Bachelor of Economics, Master of Economics)
Erasmus University Rotterdam (Doctor of Philosophy)
Occupation Politician
Civil servant
Corporate director
Nonprofit director
Management consultant
Associate professor

Gerardus Johannes "Hans" Wijers (born 11 January 1951 in Oostburg, Netherlands) is Dutch company director and former politician Democrats 66 (D66) party. From May 2003 till May 2012 he was CEO of AkzoNobel. From 1994 till 1998 he was Minister of Economic Affairs in the Cabinet Kok I. He served as acting Minister of Finance from 4 June 1996 until 26 June 1996 following an illness of Gerrit Zalm.


After secondary school at Hogere burgerschool (HBS-B) level, Wijers studied Economics at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, where he graduated Cum Laude in 1976. As assistant professor, he taught Economics at the Erasmus University, and in 1982 received a doctorate for his research in "Industrial politics: the design of governmental policy for industrial sectors".[1][2] From 1982 till 1984, Wijers worked as a civil servant at the ministry of Social Affairs and Labour and later at the ministry of Economic Affairs. Subsequently, he became a management consultant at, amongst others, Horringa & De Koning, which later became part of The Boston Consulting Group.

Wijers, since 1976 member of D66, was asked in 1994 by D66 foreman Hans van Mierlo (D66) for a ministerial post in the Cabinet Kok I. As Minister of Economic Affairs he was responsible for the law change regarding the extending of shop opening hours, and the coined the Competition Regulation law which triggered the foundation of the Dutch Competition Authority. An important event in his ministry was the bankruptcy of the Fokker aircraft factory in March 1996. When Wijers refused further state aid due to a lack of a clear future perspective, German company DASA withdrew as parent company.

By the end of the cabinet period, Hans van Mierlo had decided not to be eligible for re-election. The party leaders exercised strong pressure on the popular Wijers to take on the party leadership. When the second purple cabinet (Cabinet-Kok II) was formed after the elections in 1998, Wijers expressed that he had no interest in a second term as minister.

In 1999 Wijers picked up his old career as a consultant: he became senior partner and chairman of the Dutch branch of the consulting firm The Boston Consulting Group.

In July 2002 he became a member of the Board of Directors of Akzo Nobel NV and on 1 May 2003 he became Chairman of the Board of Directors. He succeeded Kees van Lede. Under his leadership the pharmacy branch of Organon, (Organon BioSciences), was sold in 2007 and the British ICI was acquired. AkzoNobel focused more to paint and chemistry. At the end of April 2012 he decided to resign as chairman of the board. He was succeeded by Ton Büchner.

Wijers has been non-executive director at Royal Dutch Shell since January 2009; he later became vice-chairman. He is President of Heineken and supervisory director at HAL Holding NV. He is also chairman of the Vereniging Natuurmonumenten and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Royal Concertgebouw NV.

In 2010 he was chairman of the jury of the Libris Literature Prize. In 2013 he was chairman of the National Committee inauguration for King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.

Wijers is living together and has two children.


  1. ^ "Hans Wijers, Chief Executive Officer". AkzoNobel. 2009. Archived from the original on 2008-12-28. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  2. ^ "Dr. G.J. Wijers". Parlementair Documentatie Centrum (PDC UL) of Leiden University. Retrieved 2009-03-12.