BASF Downsizes Executive Board
As part of CEO Martin Brudermüller’s ongoing efficiency drive, BASF on Oct. 21 announced plans to reduce the size of its executive board from seven to six seats and redistribute responsibilities among the remaining members.
The changes will take effect on 31 December 2019.
As announced earlier, from Jan.1, 2020 the newly created cross-functional support units Global Engineering Services, Global Digital Services will begin providing what BASF calls “end-to-end” services worldwide. The functions have not been definitively explained, except that they will support the business units.
At the same time, a corporate center with less than 1,000 employees will be installed to support the managing board on questions of strategy, finance, legal, human resources and communications.
The trimming at the top complements other wide-sweeping restructuring plans presented by the world’s largest chemical group during the year and a half since Brudermüller took the reins from former CEO Kurt Bock in May 2018.
Other moves include a redistribution of BASF’s business activities into six newly defined segments implemented and a workforce reduction 6,000 jobs – half of the total in Germany – announced in June of this year.
At the end of 2019, Sanjeev Gandhi, Hong Kong-based board member with responsibility for Asia who joined BASF in 1993 and was appointed to the board at the end of 2014, is leaving the company at his own request.
Gandhi’s regional responsibilities for Greater China & Functions Asia Pacific, along with South & East Asia, ASEAN & Australia/New Zealand are being reassigned to board member Markus Kamieth, who is now based in Asia.
US-based board member Wayne Smith, who is in charge of the region North America, will inherit Gandhi’s responsibility for Petrochemicals and Intermediates.
As part of the board reshuffle, other responsibilities will also be reassigned, with Kamieth taking over the additional functions of overseeing Catalysts and Coatings from vice chairman and chief financial officer Hans-Ulrich Engel, who in future will focus mainly on financial matters.
BASF’s new female board member Saori Dubourg will take Kamieth’s responsibility for Care Chemicals and Nutrition & Health, while Michael Heinz, in addition to his continuing role as Industrial Relations Director, will oversee the South American region formerly in Kamieth’s hands.
The BASF managing board no longer has responsibility for overseeing the Oil & Gas business, which In May of this year was brought into a joint venture with Letter One.
BASF will hold the 67% majority prior to a targeted stock market listing.