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Posts Tagged ‘Gunter Thielen’

Bertelsmann Expands Further Into China

China Daily reports that Berteslmann, parent company of Random House, sees huge potential in China’s media and publishing markets and hopes to generate about 10 percent of its global sales revenue in China in the next few years. Gunter Thielen, board chairman of German Bertelsmann AG, introduced the group’s China development strategy in Beijing June 21. Bertelsmann expects to establish 10-15 joint ventures in China in the next few years through cooperation with local partners to increase the company’s global sales revenue in China from the current 1 percent. Thielen also added that Random House is considering expansion into China but hasn’t made any firm plans yet.

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Changes to Bertelsmann Board

The Mohn family, which owns the giant conglomerate (and parent company of Random House) Bertelsmann, has implemented some changes to its supervisory board. A Bertelsmann spokesman confirmed to Scott Roxbrough Wednesday that changes to the Bertelsmann Verwaltungsgesellschaft (BVG), the holding company that controls 100% of voting shares in Bertelsmann AG, will see the BVG board reduced from eight members to six, with three coming from the Mohn family – this giving them a greater say in the company’s operation. Family patriarch Reinhard Mohn, his wife Liz and their daughter Brigitte will remain on the BVG board while son Christoph Mohn will step down from the board along with Erich Ruppik, head of Bertelsmann’s workers council.

Bertelsmann CEO Gunter Thielen, a Mohn confidant who moves from the CEO job to become chairman of Bertelsmann’s supervisory board in January 2008, will stay on the BVG board, as will Bertelsmann supervisory board chairman Dieter Vogel, who resigns from that post at the end of this year, and Vogel’s deputy chairman on the supervisory board, Juergen Strube. But Theilen’s successor as CEO, Hartmut Ostrowski, will not have a say in the holding company.

Ostrowski Chosen to be Bertelsmann’s New CEO

As expected, Liz Mohn, head of the German dynasty that controls Bertelsmann, nominated board member Hartmut Ostrowski to succeed Gunter Thielen as chief executive of Europe’s largest media conglomerate, reports the Financial Times. The 64-year-old Thielen will take over as chairman of the company’s supervisory board when he gives up day-to-day responsibility for the group behind RTL and Random House at the end of the year, people close to the company told the Financial Times.

Ostrowski, who has run the printing and media services division Arvato since 2002, is expected to follow the conservative strategy devised by Thielen, which saw the group retreat from its former pursuit of online ventures. “Ostrowski will cement Thielen’s strategy of turning Bertelsmann back into a solid German company with international bits, like RTL TV in Europe and Random House [books] in the US,” said one person who knows the group.