Bayer has announced a hybridized executive leadership team upon the closing of its proposed acquisition of Monsanto. The closing is still subject to pending regulatory approvals, but both companies have said they are hopeful for the transaction to be complete in the second quarter of 2018.
The new combined group will be led by Liam Condon, who currently serves as a member of Bayer’s Board of Management and president of the Crop Science Division, headquartered in Monheim, Germany. He is also responsible for Bayer’s Animal Health business unit.
Several key Monsanto employees retain top positions, including Brett Begemann, who will become head of Commercial Operations (Chief Operating Officer).
Monsanto Chief Executive Hugh Grant said Monday he will step down and leave the company once the company’s takeover by Bayer has closed. Grant will remain as CEO and chairman until then, he said in a statement. Grant has led Monsanto since 2003 but has been with the company a total of 35 years.
“The combination with Bayer will be a historic day for Monsanto, reinforcing the value of our business and the remarkable foundation our global team of more than 20,000 employees has built over the years,” Grant said in a news release.
Other executive Monsanto team members who are departing shortly after closing include: Chief Financial Officer Pierre Courduroux, Chief Technology Officer Dr. Robert Fraley, Chief of Staff and Community Relations Janet Holloway, Chief Human Resources Officer Steven Mizell, Chief Strategy Officer Kerry Preete, Controller Nicole Ringenberg, and Secretary and General Counsel David Snively, according to a Monsanto statement.
Each will stay with the company for a period of time following closing to help support a successful transition with Bayer, the release stated.
The Dublin, Ireland-born Condon brings more than 25 years of experience in leading and growing businesses in the agriculture and health industries. He came to the company with Bayer’s acquisition of Schering in 2006.
In an interview with DTN in Washington in late April 2018, Condon talked briefly about what the new combined organization might look like since the current cultures are perceived to be vastly different.
“We’ve been very specific internally that we want to build a new combined company culture,” Condon told DTN.
He noted that both companies have strengths and weaknesses. “It won’t be Bayer just trying to Bayer-ize Monsanto, and for sure won’t be a reverse cultural takeover by Monsanto,” Condon added.
“There’s an awful lot of attention going into getting this part right. How our people interact with customers is in large part determined by the culture of the company. We need to make sure to build on the combined strengths,” Condon said.
Bayer’s release emphasized that both companies will continue to operate as competitors until the sale is complete. There’s been no announcement or indication if the combine company will undergo a name change.
Bayer listed the following individuals as the new Executive Leadership Team, which will have integrated responsibilities for the combined business activities of Bayer’s Crop Science Division and Monsanto following the close of the proposed transaction:
- Brett Begemann will become head of Commercial Operations (Chief Operating Officer). He serves as the Chief Operating Officer at Monsanto. Begemann will be based in St. Louis.
- Dr. Michael Stern will become head of Digital Farming / Climate Corporation. He serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Monsanto’s Climate Corporation. Stern will be based in St. Louis.
- Dr. Robert Reiter will be Head of Research & Development. He is the Technology Integration Planning Lead at Monsanto. He will be based in Monheim.
- Frank Terhorst will become Head of Crop Strategy & Portfolio Management. He is responsible for Pre-Merger Planning within Bayer’s Crop Science Division. Terhorst will be based in St. Louis.
- Dr. Dirk Backhaus will serve as the head of Product Supply. He holds the same position within Bayer’s Crop Science Division. He will be based in Monheim.
- Jesus Madrazo will become head of Agricultural Affairs & Sustainability. He is responsible for Global Supply Chain and Commercial Operations at Monsanto. Madrazo will be based in Monheim.
- James Swanson will become Crop Science Chief Information Officer and Head of IT / Digital Transformation. He serves as Chief Information Officer at Monsanto. He will be based in Monheim.
- Gabriele Oehlschlaeger will serve as head of Human Resources. She is responsible for Talent Management within Bayer’s Human Resources & Organization. She will be based in Monheim.
- Michael Schulz will become Chief Financial Officer Crop Science and Head of Finance. He is responsible for Finance for Bayer’s Crop Science Division and will be based in St. Louis.
- Dr. Lars Benecke will become head of Law, Patents and Compliance. He holds the same position within Bayer’s Crop Science Division and will be based in Monheim.
- Martin Dawkins will become head of Post-Merger Integration. He is responsible for Post-Merger Integration within Bayer’s Crop Science Division. Dawkins will be based in Monheim.
Read Bayer’s full news release here.
Read Monsanto’s release here.
Pamela Smith can be reached at Pamela.Smith@dtn.com
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