Bayer MaterialScience is getting a new head of Industrial Operations and Technology. Dr. Klaus Schäfer will assume global responsibility for this unit effective January 1, 2015. He will also become a member of the company’s highest leadership circle, the Executive Committee, at that same time. Schäfer, 52, who has previously served in other leadership roles at Bayer MaterialScience, will succeed Dr. Tony Van Osselaer, who is retiring after 34 years with the company.

Dr Klaus Schäfer

Dr Klaus Schäfer

Schäfer studied physics and obtained his doctorate at Cologne University. In 1991, he began his career as an operations engineer at Erdölchemie, a former joint venture between Bayer and BP. After various posts in Production and Technology, he transferred to BP in Grangemouth, Scotland, in 2000. He was responsible there for the technical infrastructure of the refinery and petrochemicals site.

Schäfer joined Bayer in 2001, holding global responsibility for process control technology in the former Plastics Business Group. Over the course of the following years, he was responsible for technical services and the provision of infrastructure services for Bayer MaterialScience’s production facilities.

In 2006, Schäfer was appointed member and Chairman of the Board of Management of Bayer Industry Services (now Currenta, a joint venture of Bayer and Lanxess). Five years later, he rejoined Bayer MaterialScience as Senior Country Representative China. In 2013, he was appointed head of Production and Technology in the Polyurethanes Business Unit.

“Klaus Schäfer will augment our Executive Committee in the future, and I am looking forward to working with him as we head towards the independence of our company,” said CEO Patrick Thomas. He also paid tribute to the service of Van Osselaer, who participated in the establishment of Bayer MaterialScience and has served on the subgroup’s Board of Management from the very beginning. Thomas considers it to have been a great privilege to work side-by-side with him for so many years.

Van Osselaer was born 1954 in Belgium, studied chemistry at Antwerp University there, and began his career at Bayer in his native country in 1980. He held various posts with increasing levels of responsibility before being appointed head of Global Manufacturing and Technology in Bayer’s Plastics Business Group in July 1997. Van Osselaer has served on the Boards of Management of Bayer’s polymers business since 2002, and throughout the evolution of the company has been responsible primarily for the areas of Production and Technology.

He has been a member of the Bayer MaterialScience Executive Committee and head of Industrial Operations since March 2007. Van Osselaer also served concurrently as Labor Director from March 2007 to September 2011.


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