Bayer Eliminates Nearly Half of Its Executive Positions in Major Overhaul

Bayer Eliminates Nearly Half of Its Executive Positions in Major Overhaul

Published: Mar 21, 2024 By Tristan Manalac

Pictured: Bayer’s building in Germany/iStock, Elenasfotos

Bayer Pharmaceuticals on Wednesday announced sweeping changes to its leadership structure, including a new unit, role changes and a more streamlined masthead.

The pharma’s executive roster will now have only eight members, down from 14 positions, according to Fierce Pharma. Anne-Grethe Mortensen, head of global marketing, Gerd Krüger, head of radiology and Heiko Schipper, president of the company’s consumer health division, will be parting ways with Bayer, a company spokesperson said.

CMO Michael Devoy will retain his role but will no longer be part of the leadership team.

Meanwhile, the company spokesperson did not confirm whether CFO Oliver Bressier and head of China commercial operations Xiaolan Zhou will remain with Bayer, according to Fierce Pharma.

Bayer also formed a new Global Commercialization organization, which will assume most of the functions of the company’s former Oncology, Global Marketing and Digital & Commercial Innovation units. Effective June 1, 2024, Christine Roth, currently the head of Bayer’s Oncology business unit, will head the new organization.

Bayer’s Global Commercialization unit will also encompass parts of its Medical Affairs & Pharmacovigilance division.

Like Roth, Sebastian Guth will have a new role, effective April 1, 2024. Guth, currently the head of Bayer Pharmaceuticals’ commercial operations in the Americas, will serve as the new COO, overseeing the company’s commercial activities across all of its active markets, according to Bayer’s announcement on Wednesday.

As the COO, Guth will coordinate with Bayer’s various teams across countries and regions to implement its commercial strategy and enhance customer value, maximize market opportunities and grow the company’s revenue and profitability.

In their new roles, Roth and Guth will report to Stefan Oelrich, a member of Bayer’s Board of Management and president of its Pharmaceutical Division. Also reporting to Oelrich are Christian Rommel and Holger Weintritt, who will lead Research & Development and Product Supply for the pharma business, respectively.

Oelrich in a statement said that the leadership shake-up is part of Bayer’s efforts to “dismantle our traditional model with functional silos and many layers of hierarchy.” Instead, the company is now adopting a new operating model “which has product and customer teams at its center.”

Bayer revealed this new operating model in January 2024, aiming to make the company more agile and able to quickly respond to market changes. The restructuring will involve layoffs, though at the time, Bayer was unable to determine how many posts would be affected, only noting that it would “come at the expense of many managerial employees.”

Tristan Manalac is an independent science writer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. Reach out to him on tristan or tristan.manalac.