Season 3 - Ep. 8 | Doing Well by Doing Good: Feike Sijbesma, CEO Emeritus of Royal DSM, on the Power of Bold Change

Redefiners Podcast
Hosted By:
May 03, 2023 | 36 min
Feike Sijbesma
CEO Emeritus of Royal DSM

Season 3 - Ep. 8 | Doing Well by Doing Good: Feike Sijbesma, CEO Emeritus of Royal DSM, on the Power of Bold Change

As a youngster struggling through grade school, it was hard to imagine Feike Sijbesma would go on to be the formidable leader he is today. But, after a slow start, Feike found success in school and life through hard work, determination, and a desire to make the world better. Feike left his mark in business by transforming Royal DSM (a multinational corporation with tens of thousands of employees) from a bulk chemicals company to a leader in nutrition, health and biosciences. Now, he’s leaving his mark on the world by bringing equity and food security to some of the poorest people on the planet.

In this episode of Redefiners, Feike shares how his admiration of Charles Darwin inspired his belief in the power of adaptability. From funerals for failed ideas to a belief in doing good in the world, don’t miss this conversation with Feike Sijbesma.

To read our report, How CEO Commitment Affects Sustainability Integration, as discussed by RRA Managing Director Sarah Galloway, click here.

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Feike Sijbesma

Feike Sijbesma, CEO Royal DSM 2007 till 2020,  transformed DSM from a bulk-chemical company into a global leading Life- & Materials Sciences company, focused on nutrition, health & sustainable living. At DSM sustainability and innovation are core values and main business drivers. DSM is a purpose driven company: doing well (450% Shareholder Return) by doing good and contributing to a better world. Feike is a strong advocate for diversity as well.

After stepping down as CEO, he became DSM’s Honorary Chairman.

In first half of 2020, Feike has been Netherlands’ Special Corona Envoy. He is Supervisory Board Chairman of Royal Philips, and member of the Supervisory Board of Unilever and the Dutch Central Bank.

Feike is also co-chair, together with Ban Ki-Moon, of the Global Center on Adaptation. He is Climate Leader of the World Bank, focusing on carbon pricing. He is heading the CEO Climate Leaders group and also member of the IMF Advisory Board and advisor of Africa Improved Foods and The Ocean Cleanup.

Mr. Sijbesma received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the UN; as well as an honorary doctorate from Maastricht and Groningen University (NL); he was listed on Fortune’s World's 50 Greatest Leaders, and one of world’s 100 most successful CEO’s by Harvard Business Review.

Mr. Sijbesma studied medical/molecular biology at Utrecht University and business administration at Erasmus University Rotterdam and followed courses at IMD, INSEAD and Harvard Business School. He is married and has 2 boys.

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