Hans Wijers

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His Excellency
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 65)
Oostburg, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Political party Democrats 66 (since 1976)
Domestic partner Edith Sijmons
Children 1 son and 1 daughter
Residence Utrecht, Netherlands
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) is a retired Dutch politician Democrats 66 (D66) party.

Wijers a management consultant, corporate director and civil servant by occupation, worked for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment from 1982 until 1984. Wijers worked as a management consultant from 1985 until 1994. After the Dutch general election of 1994 Wijers was asked by the Democrats 66 (D66) to become Minister of Economic Affairs in the Cabinet Kok I under Prime Minister Wim Kok of the Labour Party, serving from 22 August 1994 until 3 August 1998. He served as acting Minister of Finance from 4 June 1996 until 26 June 1996 following an illness of Gerrit Zalm.

Wijers retired from active politics when the Cabinet Kok II was installed on 3 August 1998 and became a corporate director at the Boston Consulting Group serving as a senior vice president from 1999 until 2002 when he corporate director at the multinational AkzoNobel serving until 2003 when he became Chairman of the Board of directors and CEO serving until 2012. Wijers also occupied numerous seats on supervisory boards in the business and industry world and several international non-governmental organizations (Royal Dutch Shell, Heineken International, GlaxoSmithKline and the World Wide Fund for Nature). He has been the Chairman of the Supervisory board of football club AFC Ajax since 2012.


Hans Wijers was born in Oostburg, Netherlands on 11 January 1951.

After secondary school at Hogere burgerschool (HBS-B) level, Wijers studied Economics at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, where he graduated 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]

Hans Wijers lives together with Dr Edith A. Sijmons, gynaecologist. They have a daughter (1992) and son (1994), and live in Utrecht.[3][4][5]


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 The Boston Consulting Group for, among others, Bakkenist, Spits & Co.[1]

As minister of Economic affairs from 1994 onward, he was responsible for the law change regarding the extending of shop opening hours, and the coined the Competition Regulation law. A short period he was interim minister of Finance, during illness of Gerrit Zalm, the minister at the time. Wijers completed one full four-year period of the Dutch ministerial cabinet until 1998. Then he chose to continue his career in consultancy, where he became senior vice president of the Boston Consulting Group.[1] As a secondary job from 1999 until 2003, Wijers also was president of the Dutch tributary of the World Wildlife Fund.[6]

From May 2003, he was the president of the Board of Management of AkzoNobel;[7][8] Former Sulzer AG CEO Ton Büchner has succeeded him on 23 April 2012.[9][10] Additional to his work for AkzoNobel, Wijers is non-executive director at Royal Dutch Shell, Chairman of the supervisory board of AFC Ajax, Chairman of the Oranje Fonds and the Ubbo Emmius Fund Foundation at the University of Groningen. He is also active for the Concertgebouw, the Young Pianist Foundation and the European Round Table of Industrialists.[1][11]

In 2014 and 2015 Weijers was named as most influential Dutch person on a top 200 list produced by de Volkskrant.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d "Hans Wijers, Chief Executive Officer". AkzoNobel. 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  2. ^ "Dr. G.J. Wijers". Parlementair Documentatie Centrum (PDC UL) of Leiden University. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  3. ^ "Wijers doet mee aan Nationale Voorleesontbijt" (in Dutch). Chemie in de media, original De Gelderlander. 28 January 2004. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  4. ^ "FEM Top 100 machtigste bestuurders: - positie 12". FEM. 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  5. ^ "Corporate Social Responsibility - Intervet India". Schering-Plough. 26 June 2005. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  6. ^ "Karel Vuursteen nieuwe voorzitter Wereld Natuur Fonds" (in Dutch). Nieuwsbank. 2003. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  7. ^ "Akzo Nobel Annual Report 2007". Amsterdam: AkzoNobel. 2008-04-22. Retrieved 2008-04-26. 
  8. ^ Jonathan Steffen, ed. (2008). Tomorrow's Answers Today. The history of AkzoNobel since 1646 (in Dutch). Amsterdam: Akzo Nobel N.V. p. 280. ISBN 9789057306228. 
  9. ^ "AkzoNobel CEO Hans Wijers to leave 2012 – Ton Büchner to succeed" (Press release). AkzoNobel. 2011-06-10. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  10. ^ "AkzoNobel appoints Ton Büchner as new CEO" (Press release). AkzoNobel. 2012-04-23. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  11. ^ "Board of Directors - About Shell". Shell. 2009. Archived from the original on 2010-05-21. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  12. ^ "'Hans Wijers opnieuw invloedrijkste Nederlander'" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. 19 December 2015. Retrieved 19 December 2015. 
Government offices
Preceded by
Koos Andriessen
Minister of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands
Succeeded by
Annemarie Jorritsma
Preceded by
Gerrit Zalm
Minister of Finance of the Netherlands
Succeeded by
Gerrit Zalm
Business positions
Preceded by
CEO and Chairman of AkzoNobel
Succeeded by
Ton Büchner
Preceded by
Chairman of the board of supervisors of Heineken International
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Steven ten Have
Chairman of the board of supervisors of AFC Ajax
Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Cees Veerman
Chairman of Staatsbosbeheer