Elanco Animal Health Incorporated announced it will expand its existing leadership team, adding a Chief Marketing Officer and three commercial leaders to its current Executive Committee. The expanded team adds depth and experience to position Elanco for continued growth.

“With our anticipated addition of Bayer Animal Health, we’re looking to ensure we have the right structure and right leadership in place to support the combined organization and accelerate the benefits we’ve already experienced in being singularly focused on animal health,” said Jeff Simmons, president and CEO of Elanco. “Our people have always been Elanco’s differentiator. So, in our executive selection process we focused on identifying people-focused leaders with a proven ability to build, lead and grow an integrated, global business.”

The existing Elanco Executive Committee has led the company through significant transformation while delivering growth and repositioning the business for the next era. Current team members will remain and will be complemented with key leaders from Bayer Animal Health post-closing, as well as outside expertise that will help propel the combined company to new levels of leadership. The new leadership structure is designed to speed quality decision making, draw senior leadership even closer to the customer and accelerate the transformation toward more consumer and brand-centricity.

The new Elanco Executive Committee members include:

Dirk Ehle, current global head of Bayer Animal Health, will join Elanco as executive vice president and president Elanco Europe at the closing of the Bayer Animal Health acquisition. Ehle has spent 18 years with Bayer AG in a variety of leadership roles, and the past eight as the leader of Bayer Animal Health. Under his leadership, Bayer Animal Health focused on driving growth and profitability, strengthening core brands, expanding sales channel presence while strengthening organization-wide customer focus, increasing R&D productivity and pipeline value.

Joyce Lee, currently president of North America for Bayer Animal Health, will join Elanco as executive vice president and president US Pet Health and Commercial Operations at acquisition closing. Since taking her current role in 2016, Lee has accelerated the growth and profitability of the business and increased North America market share through new market entries, strategic organic growth initiatives and highly successful ecommerce strategies. Prior to her role at Bayer, Lee held commercial leadership positions at Pfizer, Zoetis and Pharmacia Human Health.


Racquel Harris Mason joins Elanco as executive vice president and chief marketing officer, effective immediately. Mason brings more than 25 years of general management and consumer marketing experience developing holistic business strategies, effective communication campaigns and robust innovation pipelines. Her recent roles include serving as senior vice president at the Coca-Cola Company for the McDonald’s Division USA and vice president, Coca-Cola and Coke Zero brands.  Earlier in her career, Mason held positions of increasing responsibility in brand management with Abbott Laboratories, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble. 

José Simas is rejoining Elanco to become executive vice president US Farm Animal, leaving his position as president of Trouw Nutrition USA. José originally joined Elanco in 2000 as Rumensin product manager and held a number of roles of increasing responsibility, including senior director of Latin America and Global Aquaculture, senior director US Beef Business and area director Central, Eastern Europe, North Africa and Middle East.

“I’m pleased to welcome Dirk, Joyce, José and Racquel to our leadership team. They clearly bring the business expertise and passion for our vision of Food and Companionship Enriching Life that are hallmarks of our current leadership team,” Simmons said.  “These new members join a team that has led Elanco through significant transformation. Together, the executive team will direct the continuation of Elanco’s journey to be a leading, independent animal health company creating significant long-term value for customers, employees, stakeholders and society.”

The new leaders join the existing Elanco Executive Committee:

  • Aaron Schacht, executive vice president Innovation, Regulatory and Business Development.
  • David Kinard, executive vice president Human Resources, adds oversight for Corporate Affairs and Administration.
  • David Urbanek, executive vice president Manufacturing and Quality.
  • Michael Bryant Hicks, executive vice president General Counsel and Corporate Secretary.
  • Ramiro Cabral, becomes executive vice president and president of a newly configured Elanco International, to increase focus on emerging market growth opportunities with the increased size and scale of the operation. 
  • Sarena Lin, becomes executive vice president Transformation and Technology, continuing her focus on integration and stand-up efforts. Sarena will add oversight of the IT organization given the significant role IT plays in these two efforts.
  • Todd Young, executive vice president and CFO, will also add direction for Corporate Governance and Strategy, allowing him greater focus on the increasing financial agenda and more closely connecting the areas involved in strategic and business planning.

All members of the new executive committee will report to Jeff Simmons, president and CEO of Elanco Animal Health. Racquel Harris Mason and José Simas begin their new roles immediately. All other role transitions and reporting relationships will be effective and contingent upon close of the Bayer Animal Health acquisition.