There aren’t many senior executives who can strike up a tune on the bagpipes, but for Daniel Meyer it’s just one of the many things this father of two enjoys in life.
Having held a variety of roles within Covestro and previously Bayer, he’s now President and Head of the Polyurethanes business unit. As he takes on the challenges that face the business today, we wanted to find out more about what makes him tick.
Daniel, you’ve had a long and interesting career within the industry. What is it that sustains your enthusiasm?
I love being able to talk to customers, really understanding where they are coming from and what they need, then creating innovations and solutions that work down the entire value chain. And that means great teamwork too, really engaging with and challenging my team to collaborate with customers and each other, to think differently and follow the path less travelled.
You’ve worked in Asia for a long time. How do you think that regional experience helps you in your approach?
I felt I needed a deep understanding of the customs and character of the region to be able to have informed credible conversations with customers. I read widely, asked questions, soaked up the background and really embraced the culture. I think this is a tactic you can take anywhere in the world, both in life and in business – be inquisitive about people, learn about their challenges, listen to their needs. It was a wonderful experience for my family and me personally and professionally.
How would you describe your leadership style?
It’s my responsibility to equip the business with everything it needs to sustain success in the long term. I like to compare it to raising children, giving my kids everything they need to have happy and successful lives. Openness and mutual trust are very important to me and I’ll often give very candid feedback – which is what I expect in return. We can only tackle the challenges ahead if we align with our strategy, talk to each another and act as one cohesive team.
What’s exciting about the future of PUR market?
Well the future always begins today! And the potential is exciting. The chair you are sitting on right now. The building you are in right now. Cars, furniture, appliances – you find polyurethane in almost all areas of everyday life. We have to ensure we are close to the market and operate fast and efficiently. This means having the best cost structure and being the ‘go-to’ supplier for our customers.
‘Every successful product and new discovery we make is based on the curiosity, courage and inquisitive mindset of our employees’
Every member of our team is an innovator – and we encourage people to take innovation beyond R&D, extending into every aspect of the business. The more sustainable we can be, the more profitable, and the more we can benefit society, the better. We have to help our customers support the circular economy and understand what trends are telling us.
Every successful product and new discovery we make is based on the curiosity, courage and inquisitive mindset of our employees. Only with their passionate approach can we continue to grow. It’s a great team to be part of and I’m looking forward to working with everyone to make the world a brighter place.
Daniel Meyer joined Bayer France S.A. in 1992, transferring to Bayer AG in Leverkusen in 1997. He occupied various positions in the pigments business before becoming product manager for coating resins in 2002, initially in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and subsequently around the world. From 2004, Meyer held a number of different positions in Asia-Pacific for a total of eight years, including managing the marketing of coating raw materials. He went on to head Business Development before assuming responsibility for the entire Coatings, Adhesives, Specialties segment in the region, and subsequently around the globe. He became Head of Polyurethanes at Covestro in September 2017.