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Ulrich Haberland played a particularly crucial role in maintaining the Bayer Group's competitive structures during the development phase following World War II. Thanks to his negotiating prowess, a strong group of companies owning the Elberfeld, Dormagen, Uerdingen and Leverkusen sites was formed from the previous "Lower Rhine operating consortium" following the seizure and breakup of I.G. Farben by the Allies. The expansion of Farbenfabriken Bayer AG, which was newly founded in 1951, into an international health care and chemicals group over the next ten years was due largely to Haberland's far-sightedness and dedication.
Ulrich Haberland was born on December 6, 1900 in Sollstedt, Saxony, the son of a minister. He grew up in Halle. In 1919 Haberland began studying chemistry at Halle University and received his doctorate five years later under Professor Daniel Vorländer. After working as a chemist for three years in Hannover, Haberland took a position at the Uerdingen site in 1928. In 1938 he became the manager of that site. Five years later he took over as manager of the Leverkusen site and the Lower Rhine consortium.
Following Bayer's reestablishment in 1951, Haberland was named Chairman of the company's Board of Management. Under his leadership, the company grew steadily through the development and expansion of production and sales capacities, with R&D activities playing an ever more important role. Roughly half of Bayer's sales were achieved with products that had not even existed prior to the company's reestablishment. During this time, Haberland was presented with numerous honors from governments, universities and scientific societies. For example, in 1953 he was named Honorary Professor at Bonn University, and in 1960 he received honorary doctorates from the universities in Cologne and Bonn.
As mentor of Kurt Hansen from an early stage, Haberland ensured he would have a worthy successor. By the time he died of heart failure at the age of 61, Bayer had already grown into a multinational group of companies with 58,000 employees in 133 countries and annual sales of DM 2.8 billion.