LEVERKUSEN--Herbert Heitmann is to depart Shell to join Bayer, after three years as the oil giant's global comms head.

Heitmann takes charge of the newly-created communications and government relations unit at Bayer AG with effect from September 2013.

He succeeds Michael Schade, the Bayer comms head who is to join Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen as managing director.

Heitmann, a member of the Holmes Report's Influence 100, spent 12 years at SAP before joining Shell. He is founding president of the European Association of Communication Directors.