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New organizational structure to strengthen Bayer MaterialScience business

Published on 2007-02-12. Author : SpecialChem

Leverkusen -- Bayer MaterialScience is to redefine its organizational structure effective March 1, 2007. The Board of Management of Bayer AG has decided to consolidate strategic and operational management of the subgroup in an Executive Committee comprising the four members of the current Board and the Business Unit Heads. "This move will sharpen the business focus of the management body and, at the same time, create a leaner hierarchy with shorter decision-making channels," explained Werner Wenning, Chairman of the Board of Management of Bayer AG. He went on to say that the primary goal is to further strengthen and expand the subgroup's leadership position in the performance materials market.

As members of the Executive Committee, the Business Unit Heads will be given a greater share of responsibility for the company's business. The Chief Executive Officer of Bayer MaterialScience, Patrick Thomas, will focus primarily on strategic issues and positioning the subgroup in the global market. The strategic functions 'Corporate Development', 'Human Resources' and 'Communications' will report directly to Mr. Thomas.

The area of responsibility of Board member Dr. Tony Van Osselaer, until now 'Production & Technology', will be enhanced and renamed 'Industrial Operations' effective March 1, 2007. The additional functions reporting to him will include what is currently the Inorganic Basic Chemicals Business Unit, together with 'Procurement', 'Health, Safety, Environment, Quality', and 'Corporate Energy Policy & Reporting', the latter being a Bayer Group function. "Production is the backbone of our enterprise. Efficiency, reliability, technological leadership and safety are crucial to our success," stated Thomas. "That is why we have decided to bundle responsibility for overarching production-relevant functions, including Procurement." However, the business units will retain direct responsibility for production. In addition to his duties as Head of Industrial Operations, Van Osselaer will also assume the role of Labor Director at Bayer MaterialScience AG.

Ian Paterson will remain responsible for the Board function 'Marketing & Innovation'. Prof. Dr. Gottfried Plumpe, currently Chief Administration Officer (CAO) and Labor Director at Bayer MaterialScience, is leaving the company by mutual agreement after many years of valuable service. His successor will be appointed at a later date.

The new members of the Executive Committee:

 Peter Vanacker

Peter Vanacker has been Head of the Polyurethanes Business Unit since 2004. He was born in Wervik, Belgium, in 1966. He holds a degree in polymers engineering from the University of Gent and a master's in business administration from the European Institute of Higher Education (EHSAL) in Brussels. Vanacker speaks six languages.

Vanacker joined Bayer N.V. in 1990 as technical account manager for Polyurethanes in Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg. In 1994 he transferred to Bayer in Germany as Sales Manager for the global elastomers business and in 1996 was appointed Head of Marketing for the electrical encapsulation segment and specialty raw materials. Two years later he moved to Brazil where he took over as Head of Marketing and Sales, Polyurethanes for the South American market. Vanacker transferred to the USA in 2001 to assume the position of Vice President, Polyurethanes Specialties for the NAFTA region. In 2002, he was appointed Senior Vice President and Head of the Polymer Solutions Marketing Division in the Americas region. He was named Head of the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region at the former subgroup Bayer Polymers in 2003.

Dr. Günter Hilken

Dr. Günter Hilken was appointed Head of the Polycarbonates Business Unit in 2004. Born in Leverkusen in 1954, Hilken studied chemistry at the University of Cologne, completing his doctorate in organic chemistry there in 1983. The following year, he joined Bayer's Rubber Business Group at the company's Dormagen site. From 1987 he worked as a senior research chemist in various areas of the Rubber and Polyurethanes business groups.

After heading the Process Development department in the Research and Development section of the Rubber Business Group, Hilken transferred to Canada where he held various plant management positions in the Rubber Business Group and the role of General Site Manager. In 1999 he was appointed President of the Fibers, Additives and Rubber Division at Bayer Corp. in Akron, Ohio. Hilken returned to Leverkusen in 2002, becoming Head of Global Operations MDI at Bayer Polymers.

Hilken has been Chairman of PlasticsEurope Deutschland e.V. since 2005.

Dr. Joachim Wolff

Dr. Joachim Wolff became Head of the Coatings, Adhesives, Sealants Business Unit in 2004. He was born in Cologne, Germany, in 1952. After completing a chemistry degree at the University of Cologne, he also obtained a doctorate in physical chemistry and pharmacology there.

Wolff joined Bayer in 1980, initially working in the Manufacturing section of the Dyestuffs Business Group. In 1986 he was appointed Head of Applications Technology for cotton and polyester. With the launch of DyStar he became Head of Marketing in 1993, moving to head Strategy Projects in Strategic Planning at the Bayer Group two years later. After holding various positions in the Coating Resins, Industrial Coatings and Construction Materials business units of the Coatings and Colorants Business Group, Wolff was assigned global responsibility for Base and Modified Isocyanates at Bayer Polymers.

Dr. Tim Bielfeldt

Dr. Tim Bielfeldt has headed the Thermoplastic Polyurethanes Business Unit since 2004. He was born in Hamburg in 1964 and completed both a chemistry degree and a doctorate in organic chemistry at that city's university.

His career at Bayer began in 1994 in the Organic Chemicals Business Group, where he was a production manager in the Central Pilot Facility. Three years later he was appointed Marketing Development Manager in the same business group, before holding a position as plant manager in styrenics compounding in the Plastics Business Group from 2000. He then transferred to Bayer's Antwerp site where he was responsible for polycarbonate production. In 2002 Bielfeldt was given responsibility for Global Marketing & Sales in the Rubber Business Group, before being appointed Head of Performance Materials for the EMEA region of Bayer Polymers in 2003.

Forward-looking statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in our public reports filed with the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – including our Form 20-F. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

Source: Bayer MaterialScience

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