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DSM announces new Chief Innovation Officer

Royal DSM, a global science-based company in Nutrition, Health and Sustainable Living, today announced that Rob van Leen, Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) and member of the Executive Committee, has decided to step down from his position and focus on non-executive roles outside of DSM in the second half of 2019. Patricia Malarkey, in her most recent executive role Head of Research & Development and member of the Executive Committee at Syngenta, will join DSM as of 15 March to succeed Rob as Chief Innovation Officer and member of the Executive Committee in August 2019. 

Rob joined DSM in 1987 and has held various positions in the company including Business Group Director of DSM Food Specialties, Business Unit Director of DSM Dairy Ingredients and Technology Director of R&D at DSM Food Specialties. In 2006, Rob was appointed CIO. In this role he has successfully shaped DSM’s long-term innovation strategy and managed the DSM Innovation Center, accelerating and supporting innovation throughout DSM and creating new businesses outside the scope of DSM’s existing business groups.

Rob has been instrumental in establishing innovation as a critical contributor to DSM’s purpose-led growth: innovation sales have increased from 5% to about 20% of total sales. The company now has a customer-driven portfolio of innovation projects which are both profitable and have a measurably better impact on society and the environment.

Patricia (Trish), a British and American national, has 30 years of experience in agricultural innovation. With extensive experience in senior R&D Leadership positions in multinational companies like AgrEvo and Syngenta, she has a breadth of technical knowledge across biology, chemistry, and biotechnology.

Trish has successfully executed the delivery of innovation for commercial success, translated business strategies into technology pipelines and most recently as Head of Research & Development at Syngenta, led around 5000 scientific professionals in over 90 countries, recreating the R&D strategy, innovation pipeline and organizational capabilities. She joined the Board of Directors of Novozymes in 2018 but has stepped down following this appointment.

Trish will be based in Geleen, the Netherlands, reporting to DSM CEO Feike Sijbesma.


DSM – Bright Science. Brighter Living.™

Royal DSM is a purpose-led global science-based company in Nutrition, Health and Sustainable Living. DSM is driving economic prosperity, environmental progress and social advances to create sustainable value for all stakeholders. DSM delivers innovative business solutions for human nutrition, animal nutrition, personal care and aroma, medical devices, green products and applications, and new mobility and connectivity. DSM and its associated companies deliver annual net sales of about €10 billion with approximately 23,000 employees. The company is listed on Euronext Amsterdam. More information can be found at

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