Markus Steilemann, CCO of Covestro AG, Leverkusen, Germany, has been elected President of the German Association of Chemical Industry (Verband der Chemischen Industrie, VCI) from 2022 to 2024. He succeeds Christian Kullmann, CEO of Evonik AG, Essen, Germany.
“I am taking up this office in times that have never been as serious and challenging for German chemistry as they are now. Our companies are innovation drivers and the backbone of the economy. However, we have been working in crisis mode for months. No one can close their eyes any longer to the fact that even solidly managed companies have their backs to the wall, are cutting back or even shutting down production because energy prices are at an unprecedented record level,” said Markus Steilemann after his election at the members’ meeting in Berlin. “If companies can no longer produce profitably, the consequences for our entire society are fatal. Only with a strong economy can we overcome the challenges facing our country—economically, ecologically, and socially. This is what I will be working for in the next two years as VCI President.”
“The energy crisis caused by the Russian war of aggression shows how important it is to make the future of the chemical industry climate-neutral, digital, and circular. To stay on this course,” Markus Steilemann said, “will require faster permitting processes, internationally competitive gas and electricity prices, and huge amounts of affordable green electricity and hydrogen. These are the guardrails that policymakers in Berlin and, above all, Brussels must build, instead of slowing down the industry with ever new, unaffordable requirements.”
Markus Steilemann, born 1970 in Geilenkirchen, Germany, studied chemistry and business administration at RWTH Aachen University, Germany. He received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland. In 1999, he joined Bayer AG, Leverkusen, Germany. From 2004 to 2005, he was Head of the Department “Organization, Processes and Regions”, from 2005 to 2007, Head of Global Supply Chain Management and Vice President, and from 2008 to 2012, Vice President Marketing Asia Pacific and Marketing Polycarbonate. From 2012 to 2015, he was Senior Vice President Marketing and later Business Unit Head Polyurethanes, Member of Executive Committee in Shanghai, China.
Back in Germany, Steilemann became a member of the Covestro Board of Management in 2015 with responsibility for innovation. In 2017, he took over as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO).
Christian Kullmann, born 1968 in Friedrichroda, Germany, studied economic history at Hanover University, Germany. He held various positions at Dresdner Bank, Frankfurt am Main, and RAG AG, Essen. Evonik Industries AG was formed in 2007 from the merger of RAG and Degussa AG. He was appointed a member of the executive board of the special chemicals group Evonik in 2014 and has been Chairman of the executive board since 2017.
- German Chemical Industry Association (Verband der Chemischen Industrie e.V. – VCI), Frankfurt, Germany