Bayer Makes Key Leadership Changes to Its Crop Science Division

Bayer is applying several key changes to the Executive Leadership Team of its Crop Science Division. The new setup will support the company to shape agriculture for farmers, consumers, and the planet, and to deliver against the ambition of becoming the leader in regenerative agriculture.

Brian Naber will assume the position as commercial lead for the region North America from Jackie Applegate, who will be retiring from Bayer after 31 years with the company. Consequently, Malu Nachreiner, currently serving as Senior Bayer Representative and Country Division Head for Crop Science in Brazil, is going to succeed Brian Naber as commercial lead for the region Asia Pacific. Both changes will become effective as of March 1, 2024.


As of February 1, Oliver Rittgen will serve as the division’s new Chief Financial Officer following Kelly Gast, who retired after almost 30 years with the company. Oliver’s current assignment is Chief Financial Officer for Bayer’s Consumer Health Division.

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Further changes have become effective with the beginning of 2024: Sascha Israel has been appointed as Head of Product Supply succeeding Dirk Backhaus who retired after 27 years with Bayer. Amanda McClerren, former Head of Crop Science R&D Digital Transformation and Information Technology is going to take over Sascha’s former role as Chief Information Officer, Head of Digital Transformation and Information Technology. Finally, Jessica Christiansen assumes the position as Head of Crop Science Communications after having led the division’s Sustainability and Business Stewardship Team. She is taking over from Tom Armitage who decided to pursue further career opportunities outside of Bayer.

“With the new setup of the Crop Science Executive Leadership Team, we are perfectly positioned to further drive our vision of regenerative agriculture and to deliver much needed innovations to farmers,” said Rodrigo Santos, member of the Board of Bayer AG and president of the company’s Crop Science division. “I am looking forward to working together with this team to tackle some of the most important topics of our time: achieving food security and fighting climate change at the same time. To this end, we will continue to support our customers to produce more while restoring more. I would like to thank Jackie, Kelly, Dirk, and Tom for their dedicated service to Bayer and their outstanding achievements over the last years. They all will leave a lasting legacy, in particular for the Crop Science division.”