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26.02.2020 |

Bayer’s Chairman to Leave After Monsanto Purchase Turns Sour

Bayer AG Chairman Werner Wenning is leaving the German drugs and chemicals company before his term expires, capping a half-century of dealmaking that culminated in the contentious Monsanto acquisition and a blizzard of lawsuits over its Roundup weedkiller.

Wenning, 73, will be succeeded in April by Norbert Winkeljohann, 62, who joined Bayer’s supervisory board in May 2018 just before the Monsanto deal closed. The $63 billion purchase was the brainchild of Wenning and Chief Executive Officer Werner Baumann, who was censured by shareholders at last year’s annual meeting.

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Winkeljohann is the first outsider to head the Bayer board. While the new chairman is relatively new to Bayer, he is no stranger to companies in turmoil. He joined the Deutsche Bank AG board in August 2018, as part of a management shakeup amid tensions between Chairman Paul Achleitner and then-CEO John Cryan. He has also sat on a Bayer board committee charged with overseeing the Roundup litigation response since last June.

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