RTL Group’s new Corporate Centre

29.01.2020, Luxembourg/Germany, RTL Group

Following the reorganisation of RTL Group’s Corporate Centre in the second half of 2019, the first colleagues have now started working in their new offices in Cologne. Here Backstage provides a look at the Corporate Centre’s new structure and offers an update on recent changes in the executive management team at the Group’s headquarters.

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As already announced at the end of August 2019, the reorganisation of the Corporate Centre focused on functions where the majority of positions will be based in Cologne – in the chart below, these are shown in dark grey. 

The global and local service providers within the Corporate Centre, currently employing 76 colleagues, will continue to operate out of Luxembourg – these departments are shown in light grey below.

Joint statement of RTL Group’s Executive Committee (Thomas Rabe, Elmar Heggen and Björn Bauer): “We would like to thank all colleagues who have worked hard on the reorganisation of our Corporate Centre – from negotiating and implementing the Social Plan to setting up our new offices in Cologne in a short period of time. We are well aware that the past months have been tough for our Corporate Centre colleagues in Luxembourg, but we are convinced that this reorganisation is the right move – in line with our strategic priorities, our new governance and our need to re-allocate resources. For our teams in Cologne and Luxembourg, we as the Executive Committee, are committed to profoundly changing our way of working together, guided by the principles of team spirit, transparency and fast decision-making. The open space concept in our Cologne offices demonstrates this new approach.”

The reorganisation has also resulted in various changes in the executive management of the Corporate Centre:

  • European Affairs: Bertelsmann is stepping up its public affairs activities in Brussels, pooling its representation and political communications under one roof, to include responsibility for all of RTL Group’s EU-related matters. The aim is to lend more weight to the political communications of Bertelsmann, RTL Group, and the other corporate divisions in Europe’s capital. With effect from 1 February 2020, the new head of this Brussels Liaison Office will be Vincent de Dorlodot, previously General Counsel of RTL Group. In this role, he will report to Karin Schlautmann, Executive Vice President Corporate Communications at Bertelsmann (see the news on Backstage).
  • Business Development: Andreas Fischer has been promoted to Executive Vice President Business Development as of 1 January 2020. As announced in July 2019, all strategy-related and business development-related functions in the Corporate Centre were brought together under the leadership of Andreas Fischer, including Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategy/Business Development and Group Synergies.
  • Legal: Siska Ghesquiere, currently RTL Group’s Vice President Mergers & Acquisitions, will be promoted to General Counsel and Head of M&A, effective from 1 February 2020. She will report to Elmar Heggen in her capacity as General Counsel and will continue to report to Andreas Fischer in her capacity as Head of M&A.
  • Controlling & Investments: Mathis Wolter has joined RTL Group as Senior Vice President Controlling & Investments, effective from 1 January 2020. In this position, he has succeeded Olivier Zacharia who moved to RTL Nederland as CFO (Backstage reported).
  • Consolidation: The consolidation departments of Bertelsmann and RTL Group will be combined gradually. Jean-Marie Bourhis, Deputy CFO and EVP Finance at RTL Group, and Lena Vynogradova, Senior Vice President Accounting Policies & Compliance at Bertelsmann, are working closely to ensure a smooth transition.
  • Treasury & Risk: As already announced at the end of November 2019, Sophie Depairon has succeeded François Masquelier as Senior Vice President Treasury & Corporate Finance and Enterprise Risk Management, effective from 1 January 2020.

Joint statement of RTL Group’s Executive Committee: “We would like to congratulate Siska Ghesquiere and Andreas Fischer on their promotions and we are delighted to welcome Mathis Wolter to RTL Group. Mathis is deeply acquainted with the international media industry and has demonstrated excellent leadership and analytical skills in several finance roles within the Bertelsmann Group. We also would like to thank Vincent de Dorlodot for having successfully led the Group’s Legal department for over 20 years – as General Counsel he has contributed to the significant growth and success of our Group. We are looking forward to a close and fruitful working relationship with the various teams and wish our colleagues success in their new roles.”

Overview of the portfolio responsibilities within RTL Group’s Executive Committee

On 14 January, CEO Thomas Rabe welcomed the first colleagues to the new offices of RTL Group GmbH in Cologne: “I know this move to Cologne is a big step for all of you – thank you very much for your commitment to RTL. I am looking forward to our collaboration in such an open and inspiring working space.”

The following colleagues will now primarily work out of the Corporate Centre in Cologne:

  • Thomas Rabe, CEO
  • Elmar Heggen, Deputy CEO and COO
  • Björn Bauer, CFO
  • Isabelle Barth, Personal Assistant to the Executive Committee
  • Ursula Schmidt, EVP Internal Audit & Compliance
  • Andreas Fischer, EVP Business Development
  • Stefan Kramer, Strategy & Business Development Executive
  • Oliver Fahlbusch, EVP Communications & Marketing
  • Irina Mettner-Isfort, Senior Communications Manager and Media Spokeswoman
  • Isabell Ostermann, Senior Communications & Marketing Manager
  • Adrienne Nelissen, Senior Communications Officer (as of 1 March 2020)
  • Rebecca Haase, Bachelor Student from Bertelsmann, working in the Corporate Communications & Marketing team
  • Francesco Costadura, EVP Human Resources
  • Jan Westphal, VP Human Resources, Global Projects & Talent Management
  • Ioana Niculescu, Senior HR Manager Talent Development
  • Siska Ghesquiere, General Counsel and Head of M&A (as of 1 July 2020)
  • Christian Hauptmann, Deputy General Counsel (as of 1 March 2020)
  • Frank Ludwig, Senior Corporate Counsel
  • Mathis Wolter, SVP Controlling & Investments
  • Jens Hickmann, Divisional Information Security Officer
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