Bayer’s head of strategy, Werner Baumann, will become the company’s new chief executive on May 1, succeeding Marijn Dekkers, the drugs and pesticides maker said Wednesday.
Mr. Baumann, 53, had long been considered the likely successor at Germany’s second-largest firm after he got the job of strategy head in October 2014. He had been Bayer’s finance head between 2010 and 2014.
Mr. Dekkers’ contract was originally set to run until December 31, 2016, but he will now step down earlier than planned.
“Following rapid implementation of the realignment under Dr. Dekkers’ leadership, Bayer is now entering a new era as a pure life-science company,” Bayer’s non-executive chairman Werner Wenning said in a statement. “That is why this is now the right time to hand on responsibility for managing the company.”