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Syngenta R&D head to take on innovation role at DSM

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Apexphotos
© GettyImages/Apexphotos
DSM has announced that, Rob van Leen, chief innovation officer (CIO), and member of the executive committee of the Dutch group, has decided to leave the company in the second half of 2019.

He will focus on non-executive roles outside of DSM after he leaves.

Patricia Malarkey, currently head of R&D and member of the executive committee at Syngenta, will join DSM on 15 March, and is set to take on van Leen’s CIO and executive committee roles, said the vitamin producer. 

Having joined DSM in 1987, van Leen has held various positions in the company including business group director of DSM Food Specialties, business unit director of DSM Dairy Ingredients and technology director of R&D at DSM Food Specialties. In 2006, he was appointed CIO.

“In this role, he has successfully shaped DSM’s long-term innovation strategy and managed the DSM Innovation Center, accelerating and supporting innovation throughout DSM and creating new businesses outside the scope of DSM’s existing business groups.”

Malarkey will be based in Geleen in the Netherlands, reporting to DSM CEO Feike Sijbesma. She has 30 years of experience in agricultural innovation, having worked in multinational companies like AgrEvo as well as Syngenta, noted DSM.

“She has a breadth of technical knowledge across biology, chemistry, and biotechnology.”

Malarkey joined the board of directors of Novozymes in 2018. However, she stepped down from that role due to the DSM appointment.

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