Dr. Marijn Dekkers
Chairman, Bayer AG
Excerpt from remarks to Boston College’s Chief Executives’ Club of Boston
September 19, 2012
TAKEAWAY: Core competitive weapon
We will have revenues of about €40 billion this year, 115,000 employees globally, of which 13,000 are in R&D.
We have three divisions. One is health care, where we of course have a large pharmaceutical presence with prescription drugs, but also an over-the-counter business, with Aspirin being obviously one brand that you know. Aleve is probably, for some of you weekend warriors, a well-known product. And then One A Day vitamins or Flintstone vitamins, and a whole series of other products.
The other division we have is crop sciences, where we make seeds for crops and crop protection products to help farmers improve the yields of their crops.
And then one third division is material science, which is focused on polymers and the use of polymers for resource efficiency.
Now, Bayer’s mission is “Science For A Better Life.” And this mission really, I have to say, motivates me, of course, as having started my career as a scientist. It sort of says everything about Bayer. We try with chemistry and biology to come up with molecules that in the end really improve the lives of us humans, animals as well. And then also help crops be stronger, to again be beneficial for humans and animals.
So in this business model, you need to really foster innovation. I actually see, and I’m very open about this also with our own employees, innovation as the core capability and our core competitive weapon. We are, just like our competitors, big—but everybody is big. We have good employees—everybody has good employees. We have access to capital—pretty much everybody has access to capital. We’re all global. I think, in the end, the real differentiating factor for companies like ours is our ability to innovate.