The name Bayer
reaches far beyond the medicine cabinets of households today, having grown from pharmaceuticals to the scientific bricks and mortar of our lives, the plastic resin in our cars, CDs and DVDs, hip joints, bridges, dentures.
Founded in Germany in 1863, Bayer's North America headquarters, Bayer Corp., was established in Pittsburgh more than 50 years ago, a fixture on Bayer Road in Robinson, employing 2,700 in the region. Bayer stands for several divisions today, beginning with technical wunderkind Bayer MaterialScience
, one of the largest producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in the world. Not surprisingly, it was the brine wells that first brought Bayer to our region, a key ingredient in its invention of polyurethane chemistry and polycarbonate that make up the material products.
Then there's Bayer Business & Technology Services, the global headquarters for Bayer's human resources, also a center for finance, IT and procurement. Bayer USA Foundation
is the company's primary source for philanthropic giving throughout the U.S. and, finally, MEDRAD
, a Bayer affiliate, is a worldwide leader of medical diagnostic and imaging devices and services.
In the last three years, Bayer has nearly doubled its regional workforce from 1,500 employees in 2007 to 2,700 in 2009. Revenues have flourished as well. In North America, Bayer had a 2009 net sales of about 7.7 billion euros or $10.7 billion in U.S. dollars. The company is almost always hiring, with 35 positions currently available on its careers website
Bayer has received its share of accolades. It was recently named one of the world's most admired companies in the country by Fortune magazine. Bayer MaterialScience CEO Greg Babe is regularly lauded as one of the best CEOs and employers, from the Pittsburgh Technology Council to the Pittsburgh Public Relations Society.
"First and foremost, we have a very dedicated workforce [in Pittsburgh]," says Babe. "I think the other thing that's critical has been our universities. Our university network is outstanding. It is a source of our talent that continues to drive this transformation [of Pittsburgh] and made it successful."
Writer: Debra Diamond Smit