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Posts Tagged ‘Direct Group’

Bertelsmann Splits Direct Group in Two

Thomson Financial reports that Bertelsmann AG said it is reorganizing its Direct Group by splitting it into two — one comprising Europe and Asia while another would handle the North American business. Fernando Carro was named as CEO of Direct Group, which will handle the operations in Europe and Asia, while Direct Group North America will operate under the name of Bertelsmann Direct North America and will continue to have Stuart Goldfarb as its President and CEO.

The company said there are ‘good growth opportunities for Direct Group, especially in eastern Europe and Asia’ and that its new structure will ‘allow for an even closer strategic interlinking of club, bookselling and Internet activities’.

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Bertelsmann to Restructure Direct Group Unit

Reuters reports that Bertelsmann (parent company of Random House) plans to carve up its Direct-Group unit. Bertelsmann bosses will discuss the new structure of the division, which includes the group’s book club businesses and generates annual sales of some 2.7 billion euros ($3.7 billion), at a meeting on Wednesday, followed by a meeting by the supervisory board on Friday. Bertelsmann plans to present a new strategy for the whole company in mid-December, when the group’s top managers will gather for a two-day meeting in Berlin. Direct-Group unit head Ewald Walgenbach said last week he will leave the conglomerate by the end of the year to join private equity firm BC Partners.

Bertelsmann to pick new CEO

The man on the left is Hartmut Ostrowski, head of the printing company Arvato and the current front-runner for the plum position of being the CEO of Bertelsmann (the parent company of Arvato, BMG and Random House.) The New York Times reports that the announcement is “days away”, a choice expected to be made after a meeting this week of a four-member supervisory board personnel committee. As the only family member on that committee, Liz Mohn, the wife of Bertelsmann’s 85-year-old patriarch, Reinhard Mohn, will play a decisive role in the handover of power.

If this proves to be the case (another possible candidate is Ewald Walgenbach, the chief executive of Bertelsmann’s book club business, Direct Group)Ostrowski will be the company’s first CEO since Thomas Middelhoff was ousted in 2002 after an unsuccessful attempt to take the company public. And whoever gets the top job has all manner of fun tasks managing a $10 billion dollar debt and the influence of the Mohn family, who wield considerable power on Bertelsmann’s board.