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Dr. Axel Claus Heitmann was born on October 2, 1959, in Hamburg, Germany. He studied chemistry at Hamburg University and the Uni-versity of Southampton, United Kingdom, obtaining a science doctorate in 1988.
He joined Bayer AG in 1989 where he entered the post-graduate trainee program. Between 1989 and 1991, he held various positions in the Central Research Division, and in the Applications Development and Production departments of the Rubber Business Group. Following two years as a plant manager, Heitmann transferred to Bayer plc in the United Kingdom as Manager of the Rubber Business Group's Bromsgrove site. In 1996, he was appointed Head of Production and Technology at PolymerLatex, the then newly formed joint venture between Bayer AG and Degussa AG. From March 1999 to January 31, 2002, he was Managing Director of the Bayer subsidiary Wolff Walsrode. He was then appointed Head of the Rubber Business Group at Bayer AG. On July 1, 2002, he became a member of the Executive Committee of Bayer Polymers, and in this capacity was responsible for Bayer Polymers APAC activities in Shanghai from 2002 until the middle of 2004.
On September 16, 2004, Heitmann was appointed Chairman of the Board of Management of LANXESS AG.
Heitmann has been a member of the German Chemical Industry Association’s Presidential Council since September 22, 2006.
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