Bayer to divest Environmental Science Professional business

Bayer to divest Environmental Science Professional business

The decision allows the company to further strengthen the leadership team of its Crop Science division.

February 24, 2021

Bayer has announced a series of decisions to accelerate the strategy implementation of its Crop Science division. In order to focus on its core agricultural business, this includes the intent to divest the company’s Environmental Science Professional business. The unit offers environmental solutions to control pests, disease and weeds in non-agricultural areas such as production ornamentals, golf course management, lawn and landscape management, vector control, professional pest management, industrial vegetation management, forestry, and Turf & Ornamentals. The Environmental Science Professional business had sales of more than $725 million in 2019. 
To further drive performance and growth in the division’s most important commercial region, Bayer has named Dr. Jacqueline M. Applegate to lead the Crop Science North America region effective March 1, 2021. She currently heads the division’s Environmental Science and Vegetable Seeds businesses and has a strong track record of commercial execution and of driving transformation. 
In addition to her appointment, the company named Dr. Jeremy Williams, currently global head of plant biotechnology at Crop Science, as new head of the Climate Corporation and Digital Farming, and Tom Armitage from Mondelez as head of global communications for Crop Science. Both are effective March 15, 2021. All three leaders will join the Crop Science executive leadership team and will play key roles in accelerating the division’s transformation. 

In addition, Bayer appointed Gilles Galliou, currently head of commercial operations for Bayer Vegetable Seeds Americas, to lead the Environmental Science business and the planned divestment. The global Environmental Science business will be headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, effective June 1, 2021. Inci Dannenberg, currently head of global strategic marketing for Vegetable Seeds, was also appointed to run the Crop Science global Vegetable Seeds business, which is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. Both appointments are effective March 1, 2021.

“I’m going to be the CEO of this new company and the first role of that CEO is to separate the business and build a new structure,” Galliou said in an exclusive interview with GIE Media. “We are fully integrated with Bayer today and the first step is to look at it as a separation. My role won’t only be on the focus and the separation, but also leading the organization as CEO when we are ready to be independent."

“With the announced portfolio and leadership changes, and important new product approvals for soybeans, corn and cotton in the Americas, we are now shifting gears from integration to growth acceleration,” said Liam Condon, member of the board of management of Bayer AG and president of the Crop Science division. “We are laser-focused on commercial execution and on transforming agriculture through innovation that benefits farmers, consumers and our planet. Like farmers everywhere, we have faced challenges in the past few years; however, I am very excited about the outlook for our Crop Science business. The global coronavirus pandemic has made it clear how important agriculture and a sustainable food system are, and the crucial role science can play in solving difficult problems. Driving innovation, accelerating the digital transformation of agriculture and helping decarbonize the food system are at the core of our vision to feed a growing population without starving the planet.”

“It’s just the beginning of the evaluation of Environmental Science being an independent company and it’s a process that is going to bring us to mid-2022 before it’s finalized,” Galliou says. “So it’s a marathon, it’s a long process. It’s not easy to separate a fully integrated division.”