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After a 34 year-tenure at Bayer, during which, among other things, he participated in the establishment of Bayer MaterialScience, head of Industrial Operations and Technology Dr. Tony Van Osselaer has announced his retirement. His successor is Dr. Klaus Schäfer, 52, who will assume global responsibility for this unit effective Jan. 1, 2015. Schäfer will also become a member of the company's highest leadership circle, the Executive Committee, at that same time.

Karen Laird

November 20, 2014

2 Min Read
New Industrial Operations and Technology chief at Bayer MaterialScience

After a 34 year-tenure at Bayer, during which, among other things, he participated in the establishment of Bayer MaterialScience, head of Industrial Operations and Technology Dr. Tony Van Osselaer has announced his retirement. His successor is Dr. Klaus Schäfer, 52, who will assume global responsibility for this unit effective Jan. 1, 2015. 

Schäfer will also become a member of the company's highest leadership circle, the Executive Committee, at that same time.

"Klaus Schäfer will augment our Executive Committee in the future, and I am looking forward to working with him as we head toward the independence of our company," commented Bayer MaterialScience CEO Patrick Thomas.

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Klaus Schäfer, new head of Industrial Operations and Technology, Bayer MaterialScience.

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.

Patrick Thomas also paid tribute to the accomplishments of Van Osselaer over the long years of his career, saying that it had been a great privilege to work side-by-side with him for so many years.

Van Osselaer was born in 1954 in Belgium, studied chemistry at Antwerp University, 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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