Bayer’s head of strategy, Werner Baumann, is set to be appointed chief executive-designate next week, German monthly Manager Magazin reported on Thursday.
Long seen as heir apparent to Chief Executive Marijn Dekkers, Baumann will take over in early 2017, and the move is set to be announced on Feb. 25, when full-year results are due to be published, the magazine said, citing company sources.
Bayer declined to comment.
CEO Dekkers has said he would step down at the end of 2016 and that it will be up to the supervisory board to pick a successor.
Baumann, a former finance chief who is responsible for group strategy, has spent his entire career at Bayer, having played key roles in folding Roche’s (ROG.VX) consumer health unit and rival drugmaker Schering into Bayer.
Bayer, which invented Aspirin and polyurethane foams, last year listed its plastics business on the stock market to focus on its more profitable life-science businesses around human, animal and plant health.
It has benefited from a rich drug development pipeline but the company’s absence from a recent wave of consolidation could undermine its position in markets such as crop protection and animal health.
That is why Bayer is likely to seek a major life sciences M&A deal in the next few years, banking sources have said.
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Keith Weir)
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