Plans call for James to start in the new post on Oct. 2, Bayer said. Based in Basel, Switzerland, she will report to Bayer Consumer Health Division president Erica Mann and become a member of the division’s executive committee.
James succeeds John O’Mullane, who will retire from the company on Dec. 31 after 30 years in the industry.
“With more than 25 years’ experience in the fast-moving consumer goods and consumer product sector, Sharon has a proven record of developing and supporting products for leading consumer brands,” stated Mann, who’s also a member of Bayer AG’s management board. “I am excited that Sharon is joining Consumer Health, and know that under her leadership Bayer will continue to successfully develop and deliver new innovative self-care solutions that help people around the world be a little healthier every day.”
Most recently at Reckitt Benckiser (RB), James was senior vice president and head of global research and development at the company’s global headquarters in Slough, United Kingdom. She also previously served as senior vice president of beverage innovation and R&D at PepsiCo and as director of neurosciences and GI project managment at GlaxoSmithKline.
O’Mullane joined Bayer in 2014 after its acquisition of Merck Consumer Care. During his career, his achievements leading global R&D organizations at Bayer, Merck, Schering-Plough and GlaxoSmithKline include successful over-the-counter switches of prescription drugs, creating state-of-the-art consumer testing centers at company facilities, and establishing consumer-centric design thinking methodologies across the function, according to Bayer.
At Bayer, he also led a strategy to sharpen the consumer health division’s focus and redesign its innovation and development operating model to deliver bigger, better and faster innovation to consumers, the company noted.
“Under John’s leadership, the division is well-prepared to meet the needs and desires with new products that consumers demand,” Mann commented. “I would like to thank John for his passion and strong sense of purpose that has helped to put us on a path of even greater success with our innovation efforts.”