Global head of digital transformation, Bayer
Saskia Steinacker’s career in life sciences began on the marketing side at Bayer’s offices in Leverkusen, Germany. Now, in addition to leading a 10-strong transformation team, she heads Bayer’s digital excellence council, which includes representatives from the pharmaceutical, consumer health and crop science divisions, relevant corporate functions and country organizations. She is also an appointed member of the EU High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence.
A self-described “geek,” Steinacker told Bayer Magazine she taught herself to code. “Digital is a means to an end,” she explained. “It’s capturing the entire value chain.”
Through the digital excellence council, Bayer seeks to digitize customer experiences, digitize operations and drive new business models. To effect change across the organization, Bayer strives to “develop an attitude about work and thinking that more closely resembles the culture of startups: approaches such as design thinking, trial and error and rapid prototyping,” Steinacker said.
In the conversation with Bayer Magazine, she added a caveat, however: “Digitization is often seen as a threat to data privacy, jobs and established business models. We absolutely have to be open to discussing these risks and addressing them using the right policies that regulate innovation and do not obstruct it.”