Audit Committee

The Audit Committee is composed of non-executive directors, two of whom are independent.

James Singh *

Chairman of the Audit Committee of RTL Group

James Singh, born in 1946, joined Nestlé Canada as Financial Analyst in 1977 and served the company in various executive positions until 2000 when he was appointed Senior Vice President, Acquisitions and Business Development, in Nestlé SA’s headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland. James Singh was a member of the Executive Board and Chief Financial Officer of Nestlé SA from 2008 to 2012. He retired on 31 March 2012 after a long and distinguished career of 35 years with Nestlé.

He serves as Chairman of the Finance Committee of the European Round Table as well as member of the International Integrated Financial Reporting Standard Committee.

Thomas Rabe

Chairman of the Board of Directors

Thomas Rabe, born in 1965, holds a diploma and a doctorate in Economics from the University of Cologne (Germany). He started his career in 1989 at the European Commission in Brussels. From 1990 to 1996 he held various senior positions at Forrester Norall & Sutton (now White & Case) in Brussels as well as the state privatisation agency Treuhandanstalt and a venture capital fund in Berlin. In 1996, he joined Cedel International (Clearstream, following the merger with Deutsche Börse Clearing) where he was appointed Chief Financial Officer and member of the Management Board in 1998.

In 2000, Thomas Rabe became Chief Financial Officer and member of the Executive Committee of RTL Group. In March 2003 he was also appointed Head of Corporate Centre with responsibilty for the Luxembourgish activities of RTL Group. He was Chief Financial Officer and Head of the Corporate Centre of Bertelsmann AG from January 2006 until 31 December 2011. Since 1 January 2012 Thomas Rabe has been Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann AG, now Bertelsmann SE & Co KGaA.

Martin Taylor *

Vice Chairman of the Board of RTL Group
Chairman of the Nomination and Compensation Committee of RTL Group

Martin Taylor (born in 1952) began his career as a financial journalist with Reuters and the Financial Times. He then joined Courtaulds PLC, becoming a director in 1987, then Chief Executive of Courtaulds Textiles PLC on its demerger in 1990. He moved to Barclays PLC in 1993 as Chief Executive, a post he held until the end of 1998. From 1999 to 2003 he was Chairman of WH Smith PLC, and from 1999 to 2005, International Advisor to Goldman Sachs. From 2005 until 2013, he was Chairman of the Board of Syngenta AG.

He has done various pieces of work for the British Government and served for five years as a member of its Council for Science and Technology. In April 2013, he was appointed an external member of the Financial Policy Committee of The Bank of England. Appointed as independent non-executive Director in July 2000 (when RTL Group was created), he took over the responsibilities of Vice-Chairman of the Board in December 2004.

Bernd Hirsch

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Bertelsmann SE & Co KGaA

On 20 April 2016, Bernd Hirsch was appointed as Non-Executive Director to RTL Group’s Board of Directors for a term of office of two years, to expire at the end of the Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders ruling on the 2017 accounts. In April 2018, his term of office was renewed for three years expiring at the end of the Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders ruling on the 2020 accounts.

Bernd Hirsch, born in 1970, has been Chief Financial Officer at Bertelsmann SE & Co KGaA since 1 April 2016. Bernd Hirsch most recently served as CFO at the global supplier of fragrances and flavorings Symrise AG. Since December 2009, his responsibilities at the MDAX-listed company included the accounting, controlling, finance, treasury, investor relations and risk management departments. Prior to joining the Symrise management board, Hirsch worked for seven years at the Carl Zeiss Gruppe. A business graduate, he began his career at the auditing firm Arthur Andersen in Stuttgart.

* independent director


The Audit Committee shall have the authority to take all action to carry out the tasks and to co-operate with the external independent auditors and organise and supervise the internal control of the Company.

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