Rebuilding Trust and Charting Bayer’s Path to Improved Performance

In 2023, Bayer Group’s three divisions showcased notable strength, surpassing peers in key areas, as highlighted by CEO Bill Anderson during the virtual Annual Stockholders’ Meeting. Anderson emphasized the company’s robust progress in research on cancer and Parkinson’s drugs, herbicide development, and enhancement of top consumer brands. Expressing confidence in Bayer’s vitality, Anderson, alongside Chairman of the Supervisory Board Prof. Dr. Norbert Winkeljohann, extended gratitude to the dedicated workforce.

Yet, 2023 also illuminated significant areas for enhancement. Anderson, who assumed office in June, prioritized transparent acknowledgment of the company’s vulnerabilities, viewing it as pivotal in rebuilding trust and steering Bayer towards improved performance. He identified four primary areas necessitating urgent attention over the next few years:

  1. The loss of patent exclusivity in the Pharmaceuticals Division and the developmental pipeline’s structure.
  2. Ongoing legal challenges in the United States.
  3. Management of the company’s substantial debt.
  4. Addressing bureaucratic obstacles hindering Bayer’s agility.

Anderson unveiled the Dynamic Shared Ownership (DSO) model, heralding a transformative departure from conventional corporate structures. This model aims to empower Bayer’s workforce to pursue the company’s mission with maximum impact, benefitting customers, employees, and the business alike.

Anticipating a three-year rejuvenation process starting in 2024, Anderson assured stockholders of the company’s commitment to meeting full-year targets and overcoming challenges with urgency and transparency. He expressed gratitude to departing President of Consumer Health Heiko Schipper and welcomed his successor, Julio Triana.

Bayer achieved its key financial targets for 2023 despite market challenges, with group sales reaching 47.6 billion euros. EBITDA before special items totaled 11.7 billion euros, and core earnings per share stood at 6.39 euros. To alleviate debt, the company plans to pay the minimum required dividend for the next three years.

At the Annual Stockholders’ Meeting, elections for stockholder representatives to the Supervisory Board will take place. The Board proposes three independent candidates: biotech expert Dr. Nancy Simonian, legal expert Lori Schechter, and Inclusive Capital Partners founder Jeffrey Ubben. Additionally, incumbent members Ertharin Cousin and Horst Baier are up for reelection.

Overall, Bayer remains committed to transparent communication, addressing challenges head-on, and delivering sustainable value to stakeholders.

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