New leadership structure

28.08.2019, Luxembourg, RTL Group

RTL Group announced a new leadership structure.

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Thomas Rabe, Elmar Heggen and Björn Bauer

At its meeting yesterday, RTL Group’s Board of Directors appointed Elmar Heggen as the Group’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Björn Bauer as the Group’s new Chief Financial Officer (CFO), effective immediately. Both Elmar Heggen and Björn Bauer will report to RTL Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Thomas Rabe.

In his new position as COO, Elmar Heggen – who had been RTL Group’s CFO since 2006 – will be responsible for coordinating and further optimising the operations across the Group’s international footprint. As Executive Director, he will continue to serve on RTL Group’s Board of Directors.

Björn Bauer joins RTL Group from Bertelsmann where he has served in several senior executive positions since 2007, most recently as CFO of Bertelsmann’s US-based online learning provider Relias (2015 to 2018) and, since January 2019, as Bertelsmann’s Executive Vice President Corporate Controlling and Strategy. He will also be a member of RTL Group’s Executive Committee, alongside CEO Thomas Rabe and COO Elmar Heggen.

Martin Taylor

Martin Taylor, Chairman of RTL Group’s Board of Directors, says: “I am delighted that we have found such a dynamic and experienced leadership team for RTL Group. Elmar Heggen knows our Group inside out and will be an active sparring partner for the chief executives of our business units. Björn Bauer has extensive financial expertise and media experience. With our CEO Thomas Rabe, I wish both of them lots of success in their new positions.”

To drive the strategic agenda of RTL Group and to foster cooperation, the Group is also establishing a Group Management Committee (GMC), which will be composed of the members of the Executive Committee (Thomas Rabe, Elmar Heggen, Björn Bauer) and the CEOs of the Group’s three largest business units – Bernd Reichart (CEO of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland), Nicolas de Tavernost (CEO of Groupe M6) and Jennifer Mullin (CEO of Fremantle).

Thomas Rabe, CEO of RTL Group, says: “The GMC will shape the future of our company, bringing together massive experience and different perspectives. Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland will lead our newly created European advertising technology development unit, while Groupe M6 will build the technology backbone of RTL’s streaming services. And our global content business Fremantle is at the very heart of what drives our businesses – creativity and content.” 

In addition, the Board of Directors has mandated the Executive Committee to review the role and the size of RTL Group’s Corporate Centre in Luxembourg. As part of this mandate, the Executive Committee will also explore whether certain corporate positions could be transferred to Cologne. The review is expected to be completed by end of September 2019.

Björn Bauer graduated in business administration in 2005 from the European Business School (Oestrich-Winkel, Germany). In 2005, he started his career at the international management consultancy Arthur D. Little and then joined Bertelsmann in 2007, where he held successive positions in Corporate Controlling and Strategy. In February 2015, Björn Bauer was appointed Head of M&A at the online learning provider Relias in Cary, North Carolina, which Bertelsmann had acquired in November 2014. In September 2015, he was appointed CFO of Relias. After nearly four years in the United States, he returned to Gütersloh in January 2019 as Bertelsmann’s Executive Vice President for Corporate Controlling and Strategy.


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