MAIN NEWS HEADLINES
January 1-15, 2004 Edition
to Replace Schulte-HillenGUETERSLOH GERMANY/12/17/03Dieter Vogel has been named chairman of the supervisory board of German media congolerate Bertelsmann AG. He replaces Gerd Schulte-Hillen, who quit over a strategy dispute with chief executive Gunter Thielen. Vogel, who assumes his new post January 1, will also serve as a member of BVG, which controls 75 percent of the companys voting rights.
Voigel, currently serving as the boards vice chairman, has been with Bertelsmann since 1970 as an assistant to the companys executive board. Jürgen Strube will be the new Vice-Chairman of the Supervisory Board.
Schulte-Hillen objected to the merger of Bertelsmann’s music division BMG with Japanese giant Sony, and warned majority shareholders, the Mohn family, not to get involved in the daily operation fo the group. The Mohn family is headed by octogenarian Reinhard Mohn and his wife Liz. Mr.Mohn is an honorary chairman of the supervisory board and his wife is a member.
Bertelsmann produces, serves and markets media. The companys content is contributed by RTL Group, the No. 1 European broadcaster; Random House, the world’s largest book-publishing group; Gruner + Jahr, Europe’s biggest magazine publisher; and 50 percent of BMG, a leading company in the global music market. arvato provides media services, while DirectGroup Bertelsmann is the global market leader in media distribution through clubs and on the Internet.
Bertelsmann AG and Sony Corporation announced earlier this month that they have signed a binding agreement to combine their recorded music businesses in a joint venture. The newly formed company, which will be known as Sony BMG, will be 50 percent owned by Bertelsmann and 50 percent owned by Sony Corporation of America. Sony BMG will be based in New York.