Bayer’s CEO Werner Baumann, who engineered the troubled takeover of Monsanto, will not seek any corporate board seats after his current term expires in 2024, he told German monthly Manager Magazin.
Baumann, 58, plans to “all but retire from corporate public life” afterwards, he was quoted as saying.
“I will simply do something completely different,” he added.
Bayer said in September that Baumann’s contract has been extended until 2024. Baumann said at the time he could have been given a longer term but opted for a shorter contract to “accommodate my personal plans.”
Baumann has overseen the German group during tumultuous times of late, with Bayer’s stock battered by billions of euros in writedowns, litigation woes and a bleaker profit outlook, in large part related to the $63 billion Monsanto takeover.
Over recent months, the group has announced 9.25 billion euros in impairment charges on agricultural assets and shocked markets by predicting a slight decline in core earnings per share in 2021.
An $11 billion outline settlement in June of U.S. lawsuits claiming its Roundup weedkiller causes cancer has turned out to be $750 million more expensive amid a struggle to finalize the deal.
Just weeks after becoming chief executive in 2016, Baumann unveiled plans to purchase Monsanto.
He had the full backing of then-Chairman Werner Wenning, who retired in April this year and was succeeded by Norbert Winkeljohann, a former head of six European countries at auditing and consulting firm PwC.
Shareholders denied Bayer’s top management a largely symbolic vote of confidence at the 2019 general meeting due to the legal problems, but Baumann and his team won back the investor vote at this year’s meeting.
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