Board of Management

Committed to value creation

The Board of Management, headed by Dr. Markus Steilemann, runs the company with the goal of sustainably increasing Covestro’s enterprise value and achieving defined corporate objectives.

The Board of Management defines the long-term goals and strategies for the company and sets forth the principles and directives for the resulting corporate policies. It coordinates and monitors the most important activities, defines the company's portfolio, develops and deploys managerial staff, allocates resources and decides on the financial steering and reporting of the Covestro Group.

The members of the Board of Management bear joint responsibility for running the business as a whole. However, the individual members manage the areas assigned to them on their own responsibility within the framework of the decisions made by the full Board. The full Board of Management makes decisions on all matters of fundamental importance and in cases where a decision of me full Board is prescribed by law or otherwise mandatory.

The Members of the Covestro Board of Management

  • Dr. Markus Steilemann has been CEO of Covestro since June 2018. His area of responsibility includes central functions such as strategy, sustainability, human resources and communication. The strategic focus of his work is the comprehensive orientation of the company towards a fully circular economy.

    Born in 1970 in Geilenkirchen, Germany, Steilemann studied chemistry at RWTH Aachen University and at ETH Zurich. He graduated from Aachen with a doctorate, where he also obtained a diploma in business administration.

    In 1999, Steilemann started his professional career with the Bayer Group. From 2008, he held senior management positions in the polycarbonates division of Bayer MaterialScience, the predecessor organization of Covestro. From 2013 to 2015, he headed the entire segment with headquarters in China, where he lived for several years.

    Back in Germany, in 2015, Steilemann became a member of the board of Covestro with responsibility for innovation. In the following year, he was appointed head of the Polyurethanes division. In 2017, as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), he assumed responsibility for all three segments of the company, including innovation, marketing and sales.

    Steilemann is active in numerous associations and organizations. He holds the presidency of PlasticsEurope, the Association of Plastics Manufacturers in Europe. He is also Vice President of the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI). He is also a member of the Bureau of the European Chemical Union (Cefic) and of the Executive Board of the ICCA, the World Association of Chemical Associations.

    In particular, Steilemann is dedicated to innovation - as chairman of SusChem, the European technology platform for sustainable chemistry, as curator of the VCI fund and as a member of the board of the Stifterverband der Deutschen Wissenschaft.

  • Sucheta Govil has been a member of Covestro's Management Board since August 2019. As Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), she is in charge of the three divisions Polyurethanes, Polycarbonates and Coatings, Adhesives, Specialties. Govil is also responsible for the Central Marketing, for Innovation Management & Commercial Services as well as for the Supply Chain Centers in the three major regions EMLA, NAFTA and APAC.

    Being British citizen of Indian origin born in 1963 , Govil studied at the University of Delhi and at the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta, where she graduated with a post-graduate degree in Business Management. During her professional career, she held various management positions in marketing and innovation worldwide, among others at GlaxoSmithKline, PepsiCo, AkzoNobel and DSM. She also currently serves as a Non-Executive Director at Eurocell plc in London, a leading supplier of building products.

  • Dr. Thomas Toepfer is member of the Board of Management since April 2018 and the company’s Labor Director since January 2019. As Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Covestro, he is responsible for Accounting, Controlling and Finance. He also oversees Investor Relations, Information Technology, Portfolio Development, Taxes and Law, Intellectual Property & Compliance.

    Born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1972, Toepfer holds a PhD in Business Administration from Otto Beisheim Graduate School of Management (WHU), Koblenz. He worked as a consultant with McKinsey & Company, Inc. and in leading management positions for STILL GmbH, Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH amongst others. Before joining Covestro he was a member of the Executive Board, Chief Financial Officer and Labor Director of KION GROUP AG.

  • Dr. Klaus Schäfer is member of the Board of Management since 2015. He is Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Covestro and responsible for production and technology as well as all production sites.

    Born in Bruehl, Germany, in 1962, Schäfer studied physics at the city’s university. After obtaining his PhD, he worked for Erdölchemie and BP before joining the Bayer Group in 2001.

    In the course of his career, Schäfer was head of Production and Technology in the Polyurethanes segment of Covestro, was the Country Representative in China for predecessor company Bayer MaterialScience, and Managing Director of German site operator Currenta, which provides services to Covestro at the Dormagen, Krefeld-Uerdingen and Leverkusen sites.

    Since Jun 2019, Schäfer is a member of the supervisory board of TÜV Rheinland AG.

Cooperation in a spirit of trust

In all its actions, the Board takes account of the interests of stockholders, employees and other stakeholders. It performs its tasks according to the law, the Articles of Incorporation and the Board of Management's rules of procedure, and the recommendations of the German Corporate Governance Code as stated in the declaration of conformity. lt ensures compliance with the law and internal company directives, and works with the company's other governance bodies in a spirit of trust.

According to the Board of Management's rules of procedure and schedule of duties, the Chair bears particular responsibility for coordinating all Board of Management areas. The Chair represents the Board of Management and Covestro AG and the Group in dealings with the public and other third parties.

Find more information on the Board of Management, including a detailed listing of the compensation for its members, in the Covestro Annual Report 2019.