Bill Anderson will become new Chief executive officer (CEO) of the German pharmaceuticals and chemicals giant Bayer. Anderson, who stepped down as the head of Roche’s pharma division late last year, will join Bayer’s board in April. His appointment as CEO becomes effective June 1, 2023.
Bayer’s incumbent CEO Werner Baumann will leave by the end of May, almost a year before his contract expires. Baumann had previously said he would quit at the end of his current term in April 2024.
It follows pressure from investors including activist Jeff Ubben, who has called for a new chief executive and been critical of the group’s ill fated acquisition of US seed maker Monsanto in 2016. Markus 63 billion Monsanto deal was executed despite opposition from shareholders and exposed Bayer to billions of dollars in litigation costs linked to law suits about Monsanto’s weedkiller Roundup, which allegedly caused cancer. Bayer maintains that the product is safe.
Prof. Dr. Norbert Winkeljohann, chair of Bayer’s supervisory board, described the incoming chief executive as the “ideal candidate” for the German group, adding that his mandate was to “realise [the group’s] full potential and create sustainable value”.
The outgoing chief executive “will work closely with Bill Anderson to ensure a smooth transition process before retiring from Bayer at the end of May 2023”, the company said.
Bill Anderson holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas, and Master of Science degrees in Chemical Engineering and Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Bill Anderson is married and has three children.
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