Werner Baumann is a classic example of a high-flying German executive. Bayer’s director for strategy ticks all the boxes: the average age of a senior executive is 53, and Mr. Baumann was born in 1962. On average, managers join the board at the age of 47, and most frequently have a degree in economics. Mr. Baumann, who has two economics degrees, became a Bayer board member in 2010.
And at the start of May, Mr. Baumann will become a typical German chief executive when he takes over the top job at Bayer after 28 years’ experience with the company.
The pharmaceuticals and life sciences giant is proud that, once again, it has found a chief executive from within its own ranks. That’s how most big German companies like it.
Three quarters of DAX-listed companies have chief executives hired from within, according to figures from Odgers Berndtson, a respected executive recruitment agency. Filling a vacancy at the top by hiring in from outside is still a rarity in Germany – although many experts say companies benefit from a fresh pair of eyes looking at operations and company culture.