Bayer taps veteran Sebastian Guth to lead American pharma as Carsten Brunn flees to biotech

Bayer's Sebastian Guth will take on his new role on Dec. 1. (Bayer)

Bayer’s pharma leader in the Americas is heading off to biotech, but the German drugmaker has a seasoned veteran ready to step up.

On Thursday, the company said Sebastian Guth would take over the role of president of its pharmaceuticals business in the region, which comprises the U.S., Canada, and Central and Latin America. He’ll take over Dec. 1 for Carsten Brunn, Ph.D., who on the same day will take the president and CEO baton at Selecta Biosciences from the retiring Werner Cautreels, Ph.D.

To take on the new responsibilities, Guth will leave his current job as EVP and chief marketing officer for Bayer’s pharma unit, a position he’s held for about three years. During that time, he’s also overseen operations for Bayer’s radiology business unit and served as a member of both Bayer’s pharma executive committee and its global pharma development committee.

His experience extends way beyond there, though; Guth has been with Bayer’s pharma business before it was Bayer’s pharma business. He joined Schering AG as a project lead in Asia and the Middle East back in 2001, and served in various positions at the company before Bayer bought it in 2006.

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Following the buyout, Guth has held titles at Bayer that include head of strategy, pricing and communication and CEO of Bayer’s Japanese healthcare unit.

"Sebastian brings significant global experience gained from leadership roles in strategy, marketing, and business development and a proven track record of successful execution at the local level that will be crucial as we continue our growth in the U.S. and across the Americas region,” Dieter Weinand, Bayer director and pharma president, said in a statement.

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Bayer is hoping Guth can keep its U.S. pharma business steady in the wake of its mega Monsanto merger. Cancer drugs Stivarga and Xofigo—both billed as growth products for the company—haven’t measured up to expectations over the last year, though for the second quarter, Bayer’s €4.22 billion pharma haul beat Wall Street’s expectations.