Feike Sijbesma

Honorary Chairman

Feike Sijbesma

Appointed Honorary Chairman February 2020

Feike Sijbesma is Royal DSM’s Honorary Chairman and in this role he will act as an ambassador for DSM.

Feike Sijbesma is DSM’s longest serving CEO in the post-war period and was a member of the Managing Board for 20 years, almost 13 of which he served as CEO. He was named Honorary Chairman after the handover of his role and responsibilities as CEO to his successors in February 2020. This position is a tribute to Feike’s contribution to DSM over the years, maintaining a connection between him and the company, as Feike will, when requested,-continue representing DSM externally, especially in areas such as (mal)nutrition and climate.

Rob Routs, Chairman of the Supervisory Board: “His appointment as Honorary Chairman is a sign of our high esteem and an acknowledgement of his tremendous achievements for the company, enabling the connection between the company and Feike to endure so that DSM continues to benefit from his tremendous network and knowledge in the area of sustainability”.

Feike Sijbesma (Dutch, 1959) studied medical (molecular) biology at the Utrecht University (the Netherlands) and business administration at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam (the Netherlands).

In 1987, Feike joined the Industrial Pharmaceuticals division of Royal Gist-brocades NV, where he was responsible for strategic planning and business development. From 1990 to 1993, he was appointed the division’s Marketing & Sales Director. Thereafter (1993) he was given leadership of Savory Ingredients, later on a business unit of Gist-brocades’ Food Specialties Division. In 1995, he was made director of that division and joined the Gist-brocades’ Executive Committee. Following the acquisition by DSM in 1998, he became Director of the business group DSM Food Specialties.

In 2000, Feike joined DSM's Managing Board, responsible for the food and pharma activities. In 2002 and 2003 he led the acquisition of the vitamins & fine chemicals division of the Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche. In subsequent years, he led the integration of this division into DSM from Basel (Switzerland) in addition to his other responsibilities as a member of the Managing Board. Feike was CEO and Chairman of the Managing Board from 2007 to February 2020.

Feike transformed DSM and its portfolio through various divestments and acquisitions. Under his leadership, DSM repositioned itself from a chemical company into a Life Sciences & Materials Sciences company, focusing on health, nutrition & materials, expressed in a new brand of which "Bright Science. Brighter Living" forms the core. Feike sees sustainability as both a responsibility and a business driver and gave purpose to the company by DSM's involvement in, amongst other things, malnutrition and climate change.

Feike is married and has two sons.

  • 2020 - to date: Special envoy on behalf of the Ministerie van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport (Dutch Ministry of Public Health) for various aspects of dealing with the coronavirus
  • 2020 - to date: Member of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) Managing Director’s External Advisory Group
  • 2020 - to date: Honorary Chairman Royal DSM
  • 2019 - to date: Member of the World Economic Forum Board of Trustees
  • 2018 - to date: Chair of the High-Level Leadership Forum on Competitiveness and Carbon Pricing, and Champion of the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC), both convened by the World Bank Group
  • 2017 - to date: Climate Leader for the World Bank Group
  • 2014 - to date: Non-executive Director Unilever
  • 2013 - to date: Member Global CEO Council (GCC) Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC)
  • 2012 - to date: Member Supervisory Board Dutch Central Bank (DNB)
  • Co-Chair of the High-Level Assembly of the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC), convened by the World Bank
  • Board member CEFIC (European Chemical Industry Council)
  • Member of the Dutch Innovation Platform 2.0
  • Member Supervisory Board Utrecht University
  • Member Supervisory Board Dutch Cancer Institute/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital (NKI / AVL)
  • Chairman Board EuropaBio (European Biotechnology Association)
  • Board member BIO (US Biotechnology Association)
  • Member Advisory Board ECP-EPN (e-commerce NL)
  • Board member Dutch Nutrition/Food Top-Institute (WCFS)
  • Member Supervisory Board Dutch Genomics Initiative (NGI)
  • Member Advisory Board RSM - Erasmus University
  • Chairman & Board member Netherlands Food Chain Sustainability Foundation (DUVO)
  • Board member Swiss Society Chemical Industries (SGCI)
  • Supervisory board (Chairman) DSM Netherlands
  • Chairman Chemical Governors of the World Economic Forum (WEF)
  • Vice chairman Global Agenda Council Role of Business in Society World Economic Forum (WEF)
  • Co-Chair Annual Meeting of the New Champions WEF - China
  • Honorary Chairman Royal DSM (2020)
  • Fortune's World's 50 Greatest Leaders (2018)
  • Courage to Lead Award - World Resources Institute (WRI) (2017)
  • Alumnus of the Year - Utrecht University (2017)
  • Winner Fortune Award Circular Economy Leadership - World Economic Forum (2016)
  • Sustainable Ribbon Award - The Netherlands (2016)
  • Honorary Doctorate University of Maastricht (2012)
  • George Washington Carver Award for Biotechnology - BIO (2011)
  • Blue Plate - Association of Dutch Securities Holders (VEB) (2011)
  • Leaders of Change Award - United Nations (2011)
  • Humanitarian of the Year - United Nations (2010)
  • Most Distinguished Alumni Award - Erasmus University Rotterdam (2009)

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