Process and Plant Safety Interview: the New CEO at BTS Places Equal Emphasis on Flexibility and Focus
Bayer Technology Services wants to stay on the growth curve. For that to happen, the company has to find the right balance between its internal and external customer base. Dr. Dirk Van Meirvenne, who took over as CEO on June 1st, answered a series of questions from PROCESS Editor-in-Chief Gerd Kielburger.
PROCESS: Dr. Van Meirvenne, as a chemist what does it feel like to be CEO of an engineering company?
Van Meirvenne: (laughs) Actually, we view ourselves as a technology company rather than an engineering company, so I can honestly say that I feel very comfortable in my new role. Apart from that, I was involved in a very large number of technology projects during my 20 years working as a chemist at Bayer, and that experience has helped me progress up the learning curve in terms of my understanding of engineering issues. That knowledge comes in very handy in my current position.
PROCESS: You have a background in polymer chemistry, and you are now responsible for a very broad portfolio. What do you see as your biggest challenge at BTS?
Van Meirvenne: The team at BTS has gone through a period of significant change. The company has made the transition from a centralized engineering organization to a technology-oriented platform which focuses on market customers and is very aware of the diverse needs of its business partners. The biggest challenge now is to properly position and balance our very extensive portfolio. To do that, we will have to clarify a number of internal issues. For example, what are the essential factors that will enable us to continually improve our technology and our business performance? In which markets do we want to be the technology leader? What do we want to concentrate on in the future?