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New era under the Bayer Cross


Marijn Dekkers wird es bei Bayer nicht einfach haben. Quelle: dpa

Marijn Dekkers, it is not simply at Bayer. Source: Reuters

FRANKFURT / LEVERKUSEN / Wuppertal. Marijn Dekkers is great, as always, and he has great plans, but here he decides to shrink the time being. He kneaded his hands, he tigert front of a lectern and down. Before him, 300 people, whose chief he will be seated soon. He says: "I am the best-paid intern at the company. I am here to listen and learn from you."

Dekkers jokes, flatters says. He’s more charming tour, a voyage of discovery. Since January, he is part of the chemical giant Bayer, one of Germany’s most important and traditional companies, from October, he will lead it. Apparently acts Dekkers. The staff of the Berlin office, where he is at this day of February as a guest to tell enthusiastic about the appearance of the new. And so it is now everywhere in the group hear where Dekkers appears. It seems almost too balanced to be true.

It is an amazing development in an amazing experiment. For the first time in its history, the Leverkusen take a foreigner to her boss. For the first time someone who is not at Bayer grew up. Dekkers has never worked in Germany. Except decades ago as a tennis player at Red-White Emmerich. He is not networked: not at Bayer, not with the grandees of the industry, Bayer’s customers.

Will go well that industry insiders wondered why, when the Personnel became known in September last year. There will be an answer, if the contraction changed back into his head Artists Dekkers format. He takes a well-positioned businesses.

If the analysts proved right, then Bayer CEO Werner Wenning will present on Friday again fantastic numbers for fiscal year 2009, before he slowly withdrew into retirement. Operating income: almost four billion euros. With a market capitalization of 42 billion euros, Bayer is currently under Siemens and Eon number three in the Dax. Hardly any company has hitherto been so well through the crisis – despite slight scratches. "There is no area where you could say would be strategically placed Bayer badly", says Christian Faitz, an analyst at Oppenheim Research, Bayer Bayer is a good connoisseur. his business is based on three pillars: pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and plastics. This has worked well in the crisis.

This is all Dekkers to be both lucky and unlucky. All divisions) air upwards (see graph. Only there seems to be no big problem with the solution it can distinguish itself. Dekkers and would be the first CEO of a DAX company of world renown, is scoring without the desire to leave his tracks. What change it?

Die Fußstapfen von Werner Wenning sind groß. Quelle: dpa

The footsteps of Werner Wenning are great. Source: Reuters

It only works if Dekkers Wenning’s work takes to reshape it for the next few decades. Leaner, larger. It is the great fear in Leverkusen, while that lost jobs.

Dekkers know these fears. Therefore, he says: "I have not come here, everything flipped upside to 180 degrees." But he is a restructure, so far at least.

The sub-societies splintered into dozens of laboratory equipment Thermo Electron He missed a structure and took over much larger competitors Fisher Scientific. Critics say, Dekkers leave despite his efforts a jumble that he had only done half the job. However, with Dekker at the head of the company’s sales quintupled to more than ten billion dollars. A restructure of engaging manners, hard on the merits. A senior executive who became great in America, with European roots. Thus, the Dutchman, married to an American, moved up on the list by U.S. magazine "Forbes" to the best-paid CEOs. Not have the money tempts him to Bayer, but a challenge.

Dekkers feel the dimension of his task when he is on his way to his new office on the third floor executive offices of the glass. He sees a nineteenth century buildings with all the splendor of that era, the Bauhaus complex from the 30s, compared to the skyscraper, which was to symbolize the 60 Bayer’s global claim. Alongside is the new Board Glass Palace. They are the chief residences of more than 100 years of company history. Memories of a piece of beautiful, warm German industrial world. It is threatened by the cold world of financial markets.

Although Wenning has transformed the group, although its record is good. Nevertheless unken analysts, it was Bayer’s empire, with its more than 100,000 employees, outdated three subgroups and more than 300 companies. They call for a focus on the pharmaceutical business, the largest part of the Group. For Bayer and Merck are the last representatives of industry, the chemical and pharmaceutical operations operate under one roof. Competitors such as Novartis, Roche or Sanofi-Aventis, have long been converted to pure health concerns.

Between Weißkitteln and test tubes is the hope

Wenning has prepared the answer already. Pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and plastics are three separate companies under the umbrella of the joint holding. Which could easily be shattered. Dekkers could bring Agrosparte Bayer Crop Science on the stock market to sell the plastic Force Material Science. For a former manager from the German chemical industry is therefore clear: "At Bayer will happen a lot." That’s the theory.

Aspirin ist immer noch das bekannteste Produkt. Quelle: dpa

Aspirin is still the best-known product. Source: Reuters

But what seems so simple would be a delicate operation. All divisions are in the Bavarian tradition anchored via the Group’s service companies are closely linked. In addition, Bayer is one of the more easier takeover prey, is smaller the company. Even more, the industry whispers about possible interests of the competitors Novartis, Sanofi or GlaxoSmith-Kline.

The question is, what the argument for Dekkers weighs heavier. The snapshot of the success in difficult times. Or the analyst. It is not easy to answer. Each of the three divisions has its own challenges and opportunities. The experiences Dekkers on the journey of discovery through his new kingdom almost daily. For example, when he visited Elizabeth Perzborn.

The scientist stands out from the Weißkittelträgern research center in Wuppertal by Bayer HealthCare. Dark suit, red-brown necklace. "Mama Xarelto" colleagues call them, because it has succeeded to create what only a few in their research career. She has developed a potential blockbuster, so hot drugs with billion-dollar: Xarelto, an inhibitor of thrombosis. Around them triggered rat hearts throb in glass flasks. Perzborn want even better efficiency. How can something days per calendar year, weeks, months. Tens of thousands of compounds tested, the researchers, occurs before the success. Maybe. "Often a big portion of this accident," says Perzborn. Over a decade it took until it became their idea Xarelto. Well it has cost 800 million euros. It is not clear whether the drug meets the high expectations.

Most analysts give high marks to the research pipeline. But especially in the pharmaceutical business some misperceptions can jeopardize the entire group. This was demonstrated not only the scandal of Bayer’s deadly cholesterol inhibitor Lipobay, which the company is 2001, almost snapped.

Dekkers also needs more Perzborns. He sees the future of the company, especially in the research and development. For that he needs to reduce dependence on individual projects. For example, by closing other partnerships – and buys. For the pharmaceutical division, he should plan on it. "Compared with our competitors, we quote are in a good position from which we should take advantage," employees.

Just say: Where did the money if Bayer has to bear for another ten billion debt from the acquisition of Schering?

Dieses Bayer-Kreuz steht nicht in Leverkusen, sondern am 
Köln/Bonner Flughafen. Quelle: dpa

The Bayer Cross is not in Leverkusen, but at the Cologne / Bonn airport. Source: Reuters

The answer is perhaps Dekkers, when he next week to 15 kilometers away from the headquarters moves Monheim, the headquarters of the plant’s subsidiary Crop Science.

In an attempt to have a greenhouse, under the weight of white mildew, corn stalks bent thousands. Fungus. Christoph Andreas Braun considers the massacre. "The demand for food increases with the growing world population. At the same time still goes half the global crop lost to pests." The fight against plant diseases, do you mean, is a growing, safe business.

The crop protection and seed for Bayer last daughter was a safe business. Besides Syngenta Leverkusen are the leading manufacturer of pesticides. Acquisitions will approve the Cartel not good. Growth is still possible, for example in the seed business. 3.5 billion euros will be invested there until 2018. From the cash flow of Crop Science, Dekkers, a pharmaceutical expansion is thus not able to pay. Besides, he sold the business. This is also true for BMS, the department of plastic.

Plastics make the company was great. In the soccer balls to conjure with which Bayer Bundesliga football currently, is still a Bayer plastics. But the crisis shows how to cyclical the business is. BMS losses recorded violent than many competitors. Net experts believe that Dekker was appointed with a mandate to sell BMS as soon as there is a good offer.

Discussion on the board. One is the thorny issue of the New

Konzerninsidern not fit all of the sales discussions: "It is important that we are the best in all business areas – then the question of whether plastic and pharmaceutical match, regardless," says a manager is. One of Dekkers’ new experiences as important for Bayer is the good mood.

Board meeting. Mostly older men surrounded Dekkers, some have spent most of her life at Bayer. The word goes to Karl-Josef Ellrich, a chemical trade unionist. They had, he comes out from under his mighty gray mustache, a lot of speculation belongs. "Do you want to revolutionize Bayer?" – "Do you think this is necessary?"

Dekkers avoids the policy discussion, he asks, he tries to penetrate this structure Bayer. So he avoids the culture shock. Wenning, a cozy Rhinelander with a penchant for patriarchy, embodies the primal Bayer. Teaching in the group, career group, terraced house in the suburbs. And now comes Dekkers, Dutchman with U.S. citizenship. Academics, cosmopolitan, career manager.

He just found out that his job is not for the bumpkin. He has an army more confident, but sensitive, researchers at whim hold offset jealousies between the three subgroups. In addition, a Bayer boss a kind of second mayor. Bayer Leverkusen, and vice versa. An eight-figure runs every year in the social infrastructure of the city. The Bundesliga soccer player of the group for Leverkusen’s pride. Must be a CEO to meet more than expected returns.

Dekkers has practiced at home. Boston to Dusseldorf exchange? Dekkers suspected that the children did not want. He’s found a site on the internet ranking of the world’s most livable cities. Dusseldorf: sixth, Boston: 18th place Coincidentally, the study in the morning lying on the kitchen table. In addition, a Dusseldorf-Monopoly. After a game night and a city break, the children wanted to move to Dusseldorf. How fitting that the father spontaneously wanted to.