Michael Preuss | Influence 100

Michael Preuss

Head of Communications and Public Affairs

Dr. Preuss took over as communications head at Bayer last year in a role that covers the company’s internal, external and digital communications and has responsibility for political communication activities and the Bayer umbrella brand. Most likely dominating his work these days is Bayer’s proposed $66 billion merger with Monstanto — which could face obstacles in the European Union where officials have expressed concerns the deal could violate antitrust regulations.

Preuss reports to Werner Baumann, who became chairman of the board of management of Bayer at the same time. Preuss succeeded Dr. Herbert Heitmann. He began his career at Bayer AG in 1998, working first as a media spokesman for the North America region. From 2002, he headed the media relations and PR department at Bayer Material Science. In 2005, Preuss moved to Robert Bosch GmbH to head that company’s media relations and PR department, before returning to Bayer AG in 2008 as head of corporate policy and media relations, which became corporate communications in 2015. 

Can you share a moment in your career that you recognized PR's direct impact on business performance?
A well-planned high-tech product story in polymers which generated numerous customer inquiries from various industries.

What are the industry's biggest challenges and opportunities? 
Opportunities: Need for innovations in Life Sciences, digitalization Challenges: Global political and regulatory framework; societal appreciation for innovation

How do you handle the unexpected?
With an analytical view, trust in a great team and the foundation of almost 20 years of experience in PR...

How do you relax?
Family, Hiking, Cooking, projects for local Catholic church

Book/movie/TV show/podcast that teaches a valuable lesson about PR?
Thank you for smoking (Christopher Buckley)

If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...