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Seedcare Leadership Team


Jonathan Brown 

Head of Syngenta Seedcare

Based in Basel, Switzerland

Jonty is the Head of Seedcare in Syngenta. He joined the legacy company Ciba in 1990 directly from University having studied Applied Biology in Nottingham, UK.  He had numerous commercial roles in the UK organization, starting as a salesman to growers and distributors and finishing as Head of UK Strategy, just prior to the merger of AstraZeneca and Novartis.  During this period, Jonty completed an MBA to broaden his skill set.  Jonty later joined Syngenta as EAME GTM and Arable Portfolio Head, moving from the UK to Basel, Switzerland in 2004. After these roles, he led the CP organization in the Benelux, the marketing and BD team of Cereals and DFC in the ICS, and then became the Head of Russia.
Jonty is a big sports fan, enjoying rugby and cricket and when given the chance spends time travelling with his family having 3 children, 2 studying in the US and a young daughter of 2. 


“Syngenta group is a new and exciting dawn for the business. It offers huge potential for growth and nowhere more so than in Seedcare.  Seedcare has always been the leading team and portfolio in the industry and the family feel is unique.  Our role is to grow the business still further and to become the true innovation powerhouse of Syngenta group by focusing better on our customers than anyone and delivering sustainable new portfolio offers that meet societies needs and supporting the feeding of the planet”.

Kristel Burgmeister

Head of Seedcare Institute
Based in Basel, Switzerland


Kristel is from Australia and joined Syngenta in 2011, before relocating to Basel in 2015 to undertake a global position. Kristel has a family farming background and holds a Bachelor of Business & MBA.

She became the Global Head of the Syngenta Seedcare Institute Network in September 2020.


Kristel is passionate about the Seedcare business, working alongside the Seedcare family to deliver robust application and services as part of the P.A.S. (Product, Application & Service) offer.

The team are highly engaged, energetic and customer focused, making it a great place to work and very rewarding to be part of this winning team.


​During her free time, Kristel enjoys travelling, cooking and being outdoors.





Sidney Deng

Head Syngenta Seedcare China
Based in Shanghai, China

Sidney was born and raised in China. He has MS degrees in Plan Pathology and Quarantine from China Agriculture University. Sidney Joined Syngenta in China in 2007 after graduation and joined Seedcare after 2009 with technical, marketing & sales roles. He has very good experience on both upstream and downstream business with customer focus.

Sidney has great passionate for Seedcare, “I love seed treatment as it is the great technology in plant protection to improve agriculture productivity in CN with huge market opportunities, also working with so many dedicated and passionate Seedcare family people feels full of energy”

In his free time, Sidney enjoy swimming and travelling with family




Dieter Hofer

Dieter Hofer

Global Product Biology Syngenta Seedcare Lead
Based in Basel, Switzerland

Dieter is Swiss and began his career as a Research Scientist at Syngenta legacy company Ciba-Geigy, 30 years ago. He joined Syngenta Seedcare in 1997.

Dieter is passionate about Seedcare for a number of reasons. He says: “When I joined Syngenta Seedcare, it was a blue ocean playground. We were a small team with lots of innovative brains and a big vision to become Number One in seed treatment. All the functions worked together as one team, like a ‘family’. Today, Seedcare is an important Syngenta business with both an innovation and ‘family’ spirit that continues. This unique combination keeps me going.”






Marc-Oliver Zwicky

Syngenta Seedcare Head Europe, Africa, Middle-East. Based in Basel, Switzerland

Marc-Olivier was born and raised in Basel Switzerland. He spent 7 Years in Boston, the United States completing Bachelor in Marketing and MBA from Bentley University.

Marc has been working over 12 years for Syngenta across Production & Supply, and Marketing & Sales, and has spent also years in Brazil. He brings an ample experience of the crop protection and seed business, understanding customer needs and the industry. He is fluent in 4 languages including German, French, English and Portuguese.

He describes his passion for Seedcare in the following words: “The customers are what gives me the energy. I love the innovation we can offer to customers as Seedcare is the ideal precision technology for the complex farming system!”. In his free time, he plays hockey, goes skiing or hiking with his lovely wife. He also likes a good (South American) BBQ.

Palle Pedersen

Palle Pedersen

Head of Product Management 
Based in Basel, Switzerland

Palle is originally from Denmark and was born into a farming family. He moved to the US in 1998 where he obtained his PhD in Agronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his international MBA at Duke University. He joined Syngenta Seedcare in 2010 and is passionate about it because:

  • Seeds are the most critical decision growers make every year. Protecting seeds’ genetic potential gives crops the best start, maximizing yield
  • How can you not be passionate about giving the grower peace of mind and relief around his investment in a crop
  • The Syngenta Seedcare pipeline looks incredible and will bring protection and yield benefits to a new level

In his free time he enjoys fishing, hunting, traveling, cooking and good wine.







Andreea Popa

Global Key Account Lead Seedcare
Based in Basel, Switzerland

Andreea is Romanian and has an international career. She completed her Business Administration degree in Rome, Italy and joined Syngenta in 2008, working in several countries, including Turkey, before joining the Seedcare team in April 2020.

She is proud to be part of an energetic, innovation-driven team that is close to our customers and is dedicated to making them successful.

During her free time, Andreea enjoys reading, nature and good food and wine.








Will Salter

Head of Seedcare APAC
Based in Singapore, Republic of Singapore

Raised in rural Australia, Wills father is an ag-entrepreneur, which inspired Will to study agricultural systems at university. He balanced his study with industry experience and leadership positions in student and sporting groups. “I’ve always been drawn towards opportunities to build fun and functional teams”.

Will joined Syngenta Australia in 2013, eventually leading the Seedcare team there through the launch of the Wagga Wagga Seedcare Institute. He relocated to Singapore in August 2019 to drive an ambitious growth strategy in this diverse and emerging market. “APAC is an agricultural frontier begging for technology and we have the best products and talented teams to deliver them”.

Will loves people, music, and escaping into the ocean or natural spaces.







Igor Lyra

Head of Seedcare LATAM
Based in Sao Paolo, Brazil

Igor Lyra is the new Head of Seedcare LATAM/Brazil and comes with a strong track record of growing our Seeds business.

Igor’s career began when he qualified as an agronomist in 2001. He worked in several roles, from Sales Rep to Director, most of his career has worked with seeds and always in marketing and sales. Among the achievements he is most proud of, the main one is to be able to help the development of his team, enabling them to take roles with more responsibilities at Syngenta

One of his guiding principles throughout his career, he says, has been: “If it is not necessary for our customers, take it out. Be simple and prioritize – all the time.”

Together with his marketing team (32 members last year), he also relaunched the NK brand in Brazil at the height of the pandemic. This too ranks among his proudest achievements. “We had to raise awareness, re-adapt our plan after a year and we managed to deliver more market share.”

Now, with this brand-new project and challenge in his career, he just want to keep playing a fair game, with lots of responsibilities to reach strong results.

Ross Weikel

Ross Weikel

Head Syngenta Seedcare North America
Based in Greensboro, USA

Ross was born and raised in the United States. He has BS and PhD degrees in Chemical Engineering from NC State University and Georgia Institute of Technology respectively. Ross joined Syngenta in Switzerland in 2010 and has since moved to multiple locations in the United States and joined Syngenta Seedcare in 2018.

“It is exciting to be part of the market-leading business and a world-class team in Syngenta Seedcare. We continue to offer strong products, service, and expertise with ongoing investment to add to that leadership position. With these capabilities and customer-focused team, we have an exciting future in front of us.”

In his free time Ross enjoys travelling with his family and relaxing by the ocean.