The Supervisory Board of Bayer AG has unanimously decided to extend the contract of Werner Baumann, Chairman of the Board of Management, until April 30, 2024. Before the extension, Baumann’s contract would have expired at the 2021 Annual Stockholders’ Meeting. Baumann, 57, has worked for Bayer since 1988. He was appointed to the Board of Management in 2010 and has been its Chairman since May 2016.
“Bayer is strategically very well positioned as a focused life science company with leading businesses in the attractive growth markets of health and nutrition. This is particularly evident in light of the current challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis. Bayer's strategic strength and robust operational performance are due in large part to Werner Baumann and the entire management team,” commented Prof. Dr. Norbert Winkeljohann, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Bayer AG.
Under Baumann’s leadership, the task at hand is to use the coming period of more than three and a half years to successfully drive Bayer’s further development in a highly challenging environment, Winkeljohann said. Concretely, this means overcoming the effects of the coronavirus crisis, setting the course for profitable growth after patent expirations for important products of the Pharmaceuticals Division, building on the leading position of the Crop Science business through innovation, digitalization and sustainability, accelerating growth at Consumer Health and systematically continuing the efficiency and structural programs.
“The Supervisory Board is firmly convinced that Werner Baumann is the right leader to advance this comprehensive transformation purposefully and resolutely. His profound knowledge of Bayer’s markets, businesses, organization and strengths are key to this,” Winkeljohann continued. “We also expect that the glyphosate litigation will be handled in a way that is satisfactory for the company, makes economic sense and is structured in a way that enables potential future cases to be efficiently resolved.”
The employee representatives on the Supervisory Board also support and welcome the extension of Baumann’s contract. “We value his integrity and his regard for employees’ interests. In the interest of the company, and particularly its employees, it remains our task to continue to move Bayer forward together in a spirit of social partnership,” said Oliver Zühlke, Chairman of the Central Works Council and Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board.
“I’m very grateful to the Supervisory Board for the trust they have placed in me. And I’m also pleased that the Supervisory Board agreed to extend my contract until the end of April 2024 instead of the maximum possible four-year period – and thus accommodate my personal plans. I for my part will do all I can to lead Bayer successfully and sustainably over the next few years, for the benefit of our owners, our people and other stakeholder groups,” said Baumann.
Bayer also announced that progress has been made with plaintiffs’ class counsel on a revised class plan to manage and resolve potential future Roundup claims. The details of the revised class plan will be finalized over the coming weeks and a motion for preliminary approval will be filed upon completion of the formal agreement. The plan to manage and resolve potential future litigation aligns with Bayer’s longstanding position that it would consider a resolution as long as it could be reached on reasonable financial terms and addresses both current and potential future claims. In keeping with this holistic approach, the company will also proceed on an accelerated basis to finalize the preliminary agreements to resolve the current cases and claims that were announced on June 24.