Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Syngenta is led by a strong and experienced Board. It currently includes representatives with six nationalities, drawn from broad international business and scientific backgrounds. Its members bring diversity in expertise and perspective to the leadership of a complex, highly regulated, global business.

Name Year of birth Nationality Function Initial appointment
Michel Demaré 1956 Belgian/Swiss Chairman,
Non-executive Director
2012
Jürg Witmer 1948 Swiss Vice Chairman,
Non-executive Director
2006
Vinita Bali 1955 Indian Non-executive Director 2012
Stefan Borgas 1964 German Non-executive Director 2009
Gunnar Brock 1950 Swedish Non-executive Director 2012
Eleni Gabre-Madhin 1964 Swiss Non-executive Director 2013
David Lawrence 1949 British Non-executive Director 2009
Eveline Saupper 1958 Swiss Non-executive Director 2013

Michel Demaré

Functions in Syngenta
Chairman of the Board, non-executive Director
Chairman of the Governance & Nomination Committee and of the Corporate Responsibility Committee
He is also Chairman of the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture.

Professional background
Michel Demaré was Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of ABB from 2005 to February 2013, serving in addition, between late 2008 and March 2011, as the company’s President of Global Markets. Between February and September 2008, he was ABB’s acting Chief Executive Officer. Previously he had been Chief Financial Officer Europe for Baxter International Inc. He joined Baxter in 2002 after 18 years at the Dow Chemical Company, where he held various treasury and division CFO positions in Europe (including Switzerland) and the USA. Apart from his functions in Syngenta, Michel Demaré is currently holding the following Board memberships:
– Listed companies: Vice Chairman of UBS Group AG
– Non-listed companies: Member of the Supervisory Board of Louis Dreyfus Company Holdings B.V.

In addition, he is Vice-Chairman of the Supervisory Board of IMD Business School in Lausanne and a member of the Advisory Board at the Institute of Banking and Finance at the University of Zurich.

Michel Demaré holds a License in Applied Economics from the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) and an MBA from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) in Belgium.

michel demare

Jürg Witmer

Functions in Syngenta
Vice Chairman, non-executive Director
Chairman of the Compensation Committee and member of the Governance & Nomination Committee

Professional background
Jürg Witmer joined Hoffmann-La Roche in Basel in 1978 and subsequently held a number of positions including Legal Counsel, Assistant to the CEO, General Manager and China Project Manager of Roche Far East based in Hong Kong, Head of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs at Roche headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, and General Manager of Roche Austria. From 1999 to 2005, he acted as Chief Executive Officer of the Givaudan Group in Vernier/Geneva. From 2008 to 2012, he was also Chairman of Clariant AG, Basel. Apart from his functions in Syngenta, Jürg Witmer is currently holding the following Board memberships:
– Listed companies: Chairman of Givaudan Group
– Non-listed companies: Non-executive Director of A. Menarini IFR Florence.

Jürg Witmer has a doctorate in Law from the University of Zurich, as well as a degree in International Studies from the Graduate Institute of the University of Geneva.

jürg witmer

Vinita Bali

Functions in Syngenta
Non-executive Director
Member of the Corporate Responsibility Committee

Professional background
Vinita Bali started her career in India with the Tata Group, and then joined Cadbury India, subsequently working for Cadbury in the UK, Nigeria and South Africa. From 1994 onwards, she held a number of senior positions in marketing and general management at The Coca-Cola Company in the USA and Latin America, becoming Head of Corporate Strategy in 2001, and then joined the Zyman Group as Head of its Business Strategy practice in the USA in 2003. From 2005 to 2014 Vinita Bali was the Managing Director of Britannia Industries, India’s publicly listed premier food company. Apart from her functions in Syngenta, Vinita Bali is currently holding the following Board memberships:
– Listed companies: Non-executive Director of Titan Industries, CRISIL and Smith & Nephew PLC
– Non-listed companies: Chairman of GAIN (Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition), Vice Chairman of CARE India Solutions for Sustainable Development, non-executive Director of Katsuri & Sons Ltd., and Advisory Board member of PwC in India.

She also holds Advisory or Governing Board mandates in several institutions in the education sector.

Vinita Bali holds an MBA from The Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, University of Bombay and a Bachelor degree in Economics from the University of Delhi.

vinita bali

Stefan Borgas

Functions in Syngenta
Non-executive Director
Member of the Compensation Committee and of the Audit Committee

Professional background
Stefan Borgas is President and Chief Executive Officer of RHI AG in Austria since December 1, 2016. Previously he served as CEO of Israel’s ICL Group from September 2012 to 2016 and as CEO of Lonza Group (Switzerland) from June 2004 to January 2012. Before this he spent 14 years with BASF Group where he held various leadership positions in Fine Chemicals and Engineering Plastics in the USA, Germany, Ireland and China. Apart from his functions in Syngenta, he holds no other mandates in the supreme executive bodies of listed or non-listed companies.

Stefan Borgas holds a degree in Business Administration from the University of Saarbrücken and an MBA from the University of St. Gallen.

stefan borgas

Gunnar Brock

Functions in Syngenta
Non-executive Director
Chairman of the Audit Committee and member of the Governance & Nomination Committee

Professional background
Gunnar Brock worked for the Tetra Pak Group for many years, with spells in Asia, Australia and Europe, returning – after a period as President and Chief Executive Officer of Alfa Laval – to become President and Chief Executive Officer of the Tetra Pak Group, headquartered in Switzerland. From 2002 to 2009 he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Atlas Copco Group. Apart from his functions in Syngenta, Gunnar Brock is currently holding the following Board memberships:
– Listed companies: Chairman of Stora Enso and non-executive Director of Investor AB
– Non-listed companies: Chairman of Mölnlycke Health Care and non-executive Director of Patricia Industries (both 100 percent affiliates of Investor AB), and non-executive Director of Stena AB.

Gunnar Brock holds an MBA from the Stockholm School of Economics.

gunnar brock

Eleni Gabre-Madhin

Functions in Syngenta
Non-executive Director
Member of the Corporate Responsibility Committee

Professional background
Eleni Gabre-Madhin is the co-founder and CEO of eleni LLC, which supports the formation of commodity exchanges across Africa, helping to promote food security. She also founded and was CEO of the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange. Previously, she was a Senior Program Leader for Strategy issues at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Addis Ababa and worked for several institutions, such as the World Bank in Washington (2003–2004). Apart from her functions in Syngenta, she holds no other mandates in the supreme executive bodies of listed or non-listed companies.

Eleni Gabre-Madhin holds a BA in Economics from Cornell University, a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University and a PhD in Applied Economics (Food Research Institute) from Stanford University. She received the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the American Agricultural Economics Association for her research on grain markets in Ethiopia.

eleni gabre madhin

David Lawrence

Functions in Syngenta
Non-executive Director
Member of the Audit Committee
He is also Chairman of the Science and Technology Advisory Board.

Professional background
David Lawrence was Head Research & Development at Syngenta from 2002 to 2008. Prior to this role, David Lawrence was Head Research & Technology Projects (2000–2002) for Syngenta. Prior to this, he was Head International R&D Projects for Zeneca Agrochemicals, having previously held several senior scientific roles. Apart from his functions in Syngenta, David Lawrence is currently holding the following Board memberships:
− Non-listed companies: Chairman of the UK Knowledge Transfer Network Ltd. and of Agrimetrics Ltd., and non-executive Director of Spectrum Ltd.

He is also a non-executive Director of the John Innes Foundation (a charitable body), a member of the UK Industrial Biotechnology Leadership Forum, the UK Agri-FoodTech Council, the Nottingham University Synbio Centre Advisory Board, and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.

David Lawrence graduated in Chemistry from Oxford University with an MA and DPhil in Chemical Pharmacology.

david lawrence

Eveline Saupper

Functions in Syngenta
Non-executive Director
Member of the Compensation Committee

Professional background
Eveline Saupper was a partner at the commercial law firm Homburger AG in Zurich until June 2014. Since then, she has been Of Counsel at this law firm. Before joining Homburger in 1985, she worked as a tax specialist with Peat Marwick Mitchell (today KPMG) in Zurich (1983–1985). Apart from her functions in Syngenta, Eveline Saupper is currently holding the following Board memberships:
– Listed companies: Non-executive Director of Flughafen Zürich AG, Georg Fischer AG and Clariant AG
– Non-listed companies: Chairman of Mentex Holding AG, non-executive Director of hkp group AG, Stäubli Holding AG and Hoval Group.

Eveline Saupper holds a degree and PhD in Law from the University of St. Gallen. She is admitted to the Bar of Zurich and is a certified tax expert.

eveline saupper

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