Helge H. Wehmeier

2014 Distinguished German-American of the Year™

On November 1, 2014, the German-American Heritage Foundation of the USA® (GAHF) bestowed the honor of the 2014 Distinguished German-American of the Year™, to Mr. Helge H. Wehmeier. The 28th Annual Award and Fundraising Gala was hosted by Mayer Brown, in Washington, DC., at their stunning offices designed by the renowned German-American architect, Helmut Jahn.

Mr. Wehmeier is recognized for his acclaimed corporate leadership as the former Vice-Chairman, President and CEO of Bayer Corporation, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Bayer AG – a global company based in Germany with a proud tradition in life sciences and polymers. Under his leadership, Bayer Corporation’s revenue doubled in size to $11 billion, while it won U.S. national recognition for its advancement of diversity and fairness in employment practices as well as work safety.

Mr. Wehmeier also played the pivotal role in assuring that Americans had access to the medicines needed during the anthrax crisis of October, 2001. His active leadership at that time on Capitol Hill and in meetings with White House officials still serves as a template for the forging of private-public partnerships.

Helge H. Wehmeier was born in Göttingen, Germany. In 1965, he joined Bayer as a management trainee in Leverkusen, Germany and retired as Vice Chairman of Bayer Corp., Pittsburgh, in 2004, after having served as President and CEO from 1991 to 2002. During that time, Pittsburgh served as the headquarters of all Bayer operations in the USA. He is an alumnus of the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland, and the Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires in Fontainebleau, France. Most of his professional life, Wehmeier lived outside of Germany – four years in the UK, and in the US from 1967 until 1974 and 1989 to the present.

Furthermore, Mr. Wehmeier has been a member of numerous professional organizations, such as the American Council on Germany, American Chemistry Council, and the Pittsburgh Symphony Society. He currently serves on the Board of Owens-Illinois and PNC Financial.