Bayer said it will divest its Environmental Science Professional business to focus on its core agricultural business. In the United States, this business unit includes Pest Management & Public Health, Turf & Ornamentals Management, and Vegetation Management.
The company named Gilles Galliou to lead the Environmental Science Professional business and the divestment efforts, effective March 1. The business will be headquartered in Cary, N.C., effective June 1. Galliou currently serves as head of commercial operations for Bayer Vegetable Seeds Americas. He also is chairman of the governing board for RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment), a national association representing manufacturers, formulators, distributors and other industry leaders in the specialty pesticide and fertilizer industry.
The move was made to “accelerate the strategy implementation of its Crop Science division,” the company said in a statement released this morning.
In an exclusive follow-up interview with Pest Management Professional (PMP), Galliou noted that pest management professional customers should see no negative impact on their relationships with their Bayer manufacturer representative, their product pipeline or their customer service.
“We are their partners today, and their partners tomorrow,” he told PMP. “When the dust settles from this move, they will see a company that is even more agile, able to accelerate innovations and growth with pest management companies. And personally, I guarantee that my priorities are my customers and my teams.”
Despite the personnel and headquarter moves taking place in mere weeks, Galliou said the actual break of the unit from Bayer will be more evident to the industry in mid-2022. At the annual industry conference PestWorld in November, he offers as an example, “the presence will be Bayer, while we work on refining the new, independent company in the background. We are still committed to industry associations and being an industry steward.”
The company had no comment when asked about a potential buyer, as it is “too early to evaluate” any acquisition deals, Galliou told PMP. The Environmental Science unit is currently valued at more than $728 million annually.
Changes to the Crop Science division’s executive leadership team include:
- Dr. Jacqueline M. Applegate will lead the Crop Science North America region, effective March 1. She currently heads the division’s Environmental Science and Vegetable Seeds businesses.
- Dr. Jeremy Williams will head Climate Corporation and Digital Farming, effective March 15. He currently is global head of Plant Biotechnology at Crop Science.
- Tom Armitage will head Global Communications for Crop Science, effective March 15.
In addition, Inci Dannenberg will run the Crop Science global Vegetable Seeds business, effective March 1. She currently is head of global strategic marketing for Vegetable Seeds.
Bayer is a global leader offering environmental solutions to control pests, disease and weeds in non-agricultural areas such as vector control, professional pest management, industrial vegetation management, forestry, and turf and ornamentals.