Bayer Chairman Retiring

CBJ — Bayer of Germany has announced its chairman Werner Wenning will be retiring in April.

The 73-year-old Wenning had planned on retiring last year but stayed on during the company’s $63 billion takeover deal that has left the German crop protection company fighting costly lawsuits.

Bayer shares have retreated about about 25% in value since August 2018, when the company lost the first U.S. lawsuit claiming weedkiller Roundup may cause cancer. Bayer acquired  Roundup as part of the takeover of Monsanto.

Norbert Winkeljohann, who previously worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers Europe will succeed Wenning after the annual shareholders’ meeting on April 28.

Influential shareholders have strongly criticized Bayer for its handling of the issue and for underestimating the risks when it bought Monsanto and its assets.

The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer stated that glyphosate — which is used in Roundup – may cause cancer.