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Feike Sijbesma

Feike Sijbesma

Keynote Speaker | Global Climate Leader | CEO and Chairman of the Managing Board of DSM [2007 – 2020] | Fortune – World’s 50 Greatest Leaders | Harvard Business Review – 50 Most Successful CEOs | Volkskrant - Most influential Dutchman

Category
Transition & Transformation, Climate, Circularity, Diversity & Inclusion, Innovation, Hunger & Food chain, Leadership, Sustainability, Global Economic Developments, Role of business in society
Type
Business leader | Entrepeneur, Keynote speaker
Employability
Keynote speaker, Debate
Languages
English Dutch
Origin
The Netherlands

Timeline

  • 2020
  • CEO and Chairman of the Managing Board of DSM [2007 - 2020]
  • 2020
  • Co-chairs with former UN SG Ban Ki-moon the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) [since 2020]
  • 2020
  • Member of the Supervisory Board Philips, Non-executive Member of the Board Unilever [since 2020]
  • 2019
  • Harvard Business Review – 50 most successful CEO’s (#42)
  • 2018
  • Fortune – world’s 50 greatest leaders (#44)
  • 2011
  • George Washington Carver Biotech Award
  • 2010
  • Humanitarian of the year United Nations

Biography

FEIKE SIJBESMA
Feike Sijbesma (born 1959) is a Dutch business executive who served as CEO and Chairman of the Managing Board of DSM from 2007 until 2020. He is a most inspirational keynote speaker and Global Climate Leader, The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders [Fortune] and  the 50 Most Successful CEOs [ Harvard Business Review]. From mid 2020 Sijbesma focuses on several board positions (among others Philips and Unilever) and the African malnutrition issue and climate (adaptation).

Other activities

Corporate boards
Philips, Member of the Supervisory Board (since 2020)
Unilever, Non-executive Member of the Board

Non-profit organizations
World Economic Forum (WEF), Member of the Board of Trustees
Dutch Central Bank, Member of the Supervisory Board
Co-chair Global Center of Adaptation (GCA)
Scaling Up Nutrition Movement (SUN), Member of the Lead Group and founder/co-chair of the SUN Business Network (since 2016, appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon), also supporting Unicef’s GenU.
Senior Advisor The Ocean Cleanup
Senior Advisor African Improved Foods (AIF)

Awards
Humanitarian of the year United Nations (2010)
Leaders of Change UN (2011)
George Washington Carver Biotech Awards (2011)
Honorary doctorate University Maastricht (2012)
Sustainable Ribbon (2016)
Most influential Dutchman Volkskrant (2018)
Fortune – world’s 50 greatest leaders (#44) (2018)
Harvard Business Review – 50 most successful CEO’s (#42) (2019)
Honorary doctorate University of Groningen (2020)

Biography Feike Sijbesma
Feike Sijbesma (born 1959) is a Dutch business executive who served as CEO and Chairman of the Managing Board of DSM from 2007 until 2020. He helped the Dutch government from March till September 2020 as special voluntary corona envoy, especially focused on testing policy and availability. From mid 2020 Sijbesma focuses on several board positions (among others Philips and Unilever) and the African malnutrition issue and climate (adaptation).

Feike Sijbesma was born in Nieuw-Loosdrecht, Netherlands in 1959. His father was an insurance agent. Sijbesma graduated with a Master of Science in molecular and medical biology from Utrecht University and a Master of Business Administration from Erasmus University Rotterdam.

After graduating from Erasmus University Rotterdam in 1987, Sijbesma started his career in the pharmaceuticals division of the Dutch biotechnology company, Gist-brocades NV.
First in strategy, then business development and accordingly as Director Marketing & Sales.

In 1993, he was appointed General Manager of the Savoury Business Unit at Gist-brocades. Two years later, he was appointed to the company's Executive Committee. In 1995 he became director of the Food Specialties Division of Gist-brocades. In 1998, Gist-brocades was acquired by Royal DSM. After the merger, Sijbesma became the Director of DSM Food Specialties.

In 2000, Sijbesma joined the Managing Board of Directors (Executive Committee) at DSM as the company shifted toward nutrition and biotech. In 2002/2003 Sijbesma led from Basel (Switzerland) the acquisition of Roche Vitamins & Fine Chemicals, which changed DSM drastically. In May 2007, he was named CEO of the company and Chairman of the Managing Board. As DSM CEO, Sijbesma transformed the company into a life science and material science company. The company sold its petrochemical and bulk-chemical businesses, as well as its pharmaceutical units. During that time, Sijbesma also oversaw 25 major acquisitions for the company. Additionally, Sijbesma brought DSM into a partnership with the United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) to provide food assistance to tens of millions of people via WFP. Sijbesma also founded Africa Improved Foods addressing hunger in Africa via local manufacturing, starting in Rwanda In 2010, Sijbesma was given the United Nations Humanitarian of the Year award.

In 2016, Sijbesma was named Co-Chair of the High Level Assembly of the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC) which was convened by the World Bank Group. In 2017, the World Bank Group named him a "Global Climate Leader." He also advocated for widespread corporate and governmental use of carbon pricing in 2017.

Early 2020, after 13 years at the helm, Sijbesma handed over the CEO ship of DSM to his successors, Dimitri de Vreeze and Geraldine Matchett as co-CEO’s, whilst Sijbesma was named as honorary chair of DSM. Under Sijbesma’s leadership DSM transformed from a bulk-chemical company into one focused at nutrition, health and sustainable living.

During his 13 year tenure as CEO of DSM, Feike Sijbesma transformed the company and its portfolio. Under his leadership, DSM repositioned itself from a (bulk)chemical company into an innovative science based company, focusing on health, nutrition & materials. Feike Sijbesma sees sustainability as both a responsibility and a business driver. This is also reflected in a 450% Total Shareholders Return during his CEO tenure.

DSM became a truly global company with a diverse and engaged employee and leadership base, creating value for all stakeholders.

In 2020, the International Monetary Fund's Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva appointed Sijbesma to an external advisory group to provide input on policy challenges.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the Netherlands, he was asked to support the Dutch government's special envoy on the pandemic response in early 2020, especially focused on testing. Since mid 2020, Sijbesma focuses on several boards (a.o. Philips and Unilever), as well as climate adaptation. He co-chairs with former UN SG Ban Ki-moon the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA).

Sijbesma is committed to develop science as a bases for innovation in order to create brighter lives for people today and generations to come, as DSM became a purpose-led and performance driven company, with sustainability and innovation at the heart.
At his departure of DSM Feike is named as Honorary Chair Royal DSM.

Feike Sijbesma is Co-Chair (with former UN SG Ban Kimoon) of the Board of the Global (Climate) Adaptation Center. He is also Member of the Board of the WEF. Feike is also Senior Advising Chair of the Africa Improved Foods initiative and is Climate Leader and Carbon Price Champion for the World Bank Group.

Feike Sijbesma serves on the (Supervisory) Boards of Royal Philips (upcoming Chair), as well as Non- executive Director Unilever and Member Supervisory Board Dutch Central Bank (DNB).
 

Employability

Keynote speaker
Debate

Speaker

KEYNOTE TOPICS FEIKE SIJBESMA:
Leadership
Diversity and inclusion
Transitions/transformations
Sustainability
Circularity
Climate
Hunger/food chain
Innovation
Global economic developments = role of business in society