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Markus Kamieth takes the helm at BASF

Photo Markus Kamieth

Markus Kamieth will become Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE at the end of the Annual Meeting on 25 April 2024.

On 25 April 2024, Markus Kamieth (53) will succeed Martin Brudermüller (63) as Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors and top boss of around 110,000 employees at BASF, the world's largest chemical company. Kamieth was born in Dinslaken, on the edge of the Ruhr region on the Lower Rhine. He describes himself as a ‘miner's child’. Kamieth completed his doctorate in organic chemistry at the University of Essen in 1998, started his career at BASF a year later and has been a member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE since 2017. His predecessor Brudermüller, who was appointed to the Board of Executive Directors in 2006 and has been Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors since 2018, worked for the company for a total of 36 years.
The change in BASF's boardroom comes at a difficult time: the chemical company is under cost and margin pressure. According to BASF, a slump in demand in Europe, low prices and volumes as well as high production costs at the main plant in Ludwigshafen are the reasons why the Group recorded a 21 per cent drop in sales to 69 billion euros and a 29 per cent decline in operating profit to 7.7 billion euros last year. The energy-intensive production of basic chemicals in Germany is jeopardised in the long term by high energy prices, they say. In difficult times, such as those BASF is currently experiencing, a boss has to stay closer to the people, to the teams and listen more in order to sense where things are going wrong, says Kamieth. According to press reports, an abrupt change in corporate strategy is unlikely under his leadership. This also applies to the China strategy. BASF is building its largest production site in China after Ludwigshafen and Antwerp for around 10 billion dollars. In addition, the implementation and concretisation of a savings programme initiated under Brudermüller amounting to 2.1 billion euros by 2026 is on the new CEO's agenda. Kamieth also wants to continue the transformation to a climate-neutral company by 2050 initiated by Brudermüller and make BASF the preferred chemical company for the green transformation. CO₂-neutral BASF products, products that make customer processes CO₂-neutral and products that enable circular business models should contribute to this.

  • BASF press release,,,,, FAZ (25.4.2024)
  • Photo: © BASF

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