WHIPPANY, NJ — Bayer has named company vet Beth Roden head of US communications, part of the company's larger restructuring of its US corporate affairs team that sees veteran leader Ray Kerins Jr depart. 

In the newly created senior VP role, Roden is responsible for overseeing divisional and corporate communications in the US for the agriculture, healthcare and consumer health giant. She also will lead communications for Bayer’s North America consumer health business, as well as support the company’s larger goals of accelerating growth, managing its reputation, and cultivating its own corporate culture.

Roden, who started her new job Monday, will report to Patrick Lockwood-Taylor, president of Bayer US and of its North America consumer health business.

Roden is assuming the position after 17 years with Bayer, the last six of which she has spent leading global communications for the company’s crop science division. Earlier this year, Bayer hired then-Mondelez external comms head Tom Armitage to succeed Roden.

Roden’s appointment stems from Bayer’s reorganization of its US corporate affairs operation, which includes creating separate communications and public affairs functions. Communications now includes divisional and corporate teams, and the US public affairs group includes government relations, policy, and corporate engagement teams.

As part of the leadership changes, Kerins, Jr, who has led US corporate affairs for the last eight years, will be leaving the company in June to pursue other opportunities.

“We thank Ray for his leadership and success in protecting, enhancing, and advancing Bayer’s reputation through a period of significant growth, change and challenge and wish him well in the future,” Lockwood-Taylor said.

Michael Parrish, VP of US government relations, is heading the public affairs team on an interim basis, while also continuing to lead the corporate, government relations and policy teams that currently report to him.

Lockwood-Taylor said the restructuring moves are designed to bolster support of Bayer’s priorities, which notably include accelerating growth of Bayer’s US businesses.

“A top business priority for Bayer is to accelerate our transformation as a global life sciences company in pursuit of our vision: Health for All; Hunger for None,” Lockwood-Taylor said. “In the US — Bayer’s largest, most important market — supporting the key priorities and accelerated growth plans of our businesses, enhancing our reputation, and building relationships in the new Administration on important topics facing the company are essential to our success. By making this change now, we are sharpening the focus of each discipline, more closely aligning these business essential activities in the U.S. to our global structure.”