Board Of Directors

Executive Directors

Bert Habets

Chief Executive Officer
RTL Group

Bert Habets, born in 1971, holds a Master of Economics and Law (fiscal) from the University of Maastricht. He joined CLT-UFA, which later became RTL Group, in 1999 in the Business Development unit.

In March 2001, Bert Habets was appointed CFO of Holland Media Groep, which rebranded as RTL Nederland in August 2004. In January 2008, he was appointed CEO of RTL Nederland. Under his leadership, RTL Nederland established a clear strategy of strengthening the core business, while diversifying and innovating. Bert Habets has significantly grown RTL Nederland’s digital businesses (acquisition of the on-demand service Videoland; launch of RTL MCN; joint venture with SpotX for the Benelux and Nordic regions) while moving into other commercial areas such as RTL Ventures and RTL Live Entertainment. At the same time, he strengthened the company’s major free-TV channels and oversaw the launch of four new channels. With these varied strategic moves, he has transformed RTL Nederland from a traditional broadcaster into an all-round media and entertainment company. In 2014, Bert Habets was awarded ‘Most influential broadcast personality of the year 2013’ in the Netherlands.

With effect from 19 April 2017, Bert Habets assumed the role of Co-CEO of RTL Group alongside Guillaume de Posch and was elected in RTL Group’s Board of Directors as Executive Director.

In January 2018, at his own request, Guillaume de Posch stepped down as Co-CEO of RTL Group. Since then, Bert Habets has been leading RTL Group as sole CEO with overall responsibility for the strategy and day-to-day management of RTL Group.

In this capacity, he also has the portfolio responsibility for Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, RTL Nederland, FremantleMedia, RTL Hungary and RTL Croatia. He is responsible for the Group’s digital businesses in the MPN and ad-tech areas, and for Group Strategy, Business Development, Corporate Communications & Marketing, European Affairs, Audit & Compliance and, together with the CFO, for Group HR matters.

Elmar Heggen

Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Head of the Corporate Centre
RTL Group

Elmar Heggen, born in 1968, holds a diploma in business administration from the European Business School and graduated with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in finance.

 

In 1992, he started his career at the Felix Schoeller Group, becoming Vice President & General Manager of Felix Schoeller Digital Imaging in the UK in 1999. Elmar Heggen first joined the RTL Group Corporate Centre in 2000 as Vice President Merger & Acquisitions. In January 2003, he was promoted to Senior Vice President Controlling & Investments. From July 2003 until December 2005 he was Executive Vice President Strategy & Controlling.

 

Since January 2006, Elmar Heggen has served on the RTL Group Executive Management team, and since 1 October 2006 he has been Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Head of the Corporate Centre of RTL Group.

 

In January 2018, Elmar Heggen, while remaining CFO, also became Deputy CEO of RTL Group, assuming the portfolio responsibility for Groupe M6 in France and RTL Belgium within RTL Group’s Executive Committee.

 

In his role as CFO and Head of the Corporate Centre at RTL Group, Elmar Heggen is in charge of Finance, Legal, M&A and Group IT and is jointly responsible for Group HR matter, together with Group CEO Bert Habets. In addition, he has the portfolio responsibility for the Group’s businesses in Luxembourg and for RTL Radio Deutschland. He also represents RTL Group on the Board of publicly listed Atresmedia in Spain.

 

In April 2018, Elmar Heggen was appointed Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Groupe M6.

 

Non-Executive Directors

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.

Guillaume de Posch

Member of the Board of Directors

Guillaume de Posch, born in 1958, started his career at the international energy and services company Tractebel (1985 to 1990) and then joined the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company (1990 to 1993).

Guillaume de Posch began his career in the media industry at the Luxembourg-based Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Télédiffusion (CLT), as assistant to the Managing Director (1993 to 1994) and then became Head of CLT’s TV operations in French-speaking countries (1995 to 1997). From 1997 to 2003, he was Deputy General Manager and Programming Director of the French pay-TV company TPS, before joining the publicly listed ProSiebenSat1 Media AG in August 2003, first as Chief Operating Officer and then as Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO (2004 to 2008).

Guillaume de Posch was appointed Chief Operating Officer and new member of the RTL Group Executive Committee on 1 January 2012. Few months later, in April 2012, Guillaume de Posch was appointed Co-CEO of RTL Group. Under his leadership, RTL Group was transformed into the most digital European broadcasting company via strategic investments in the field of multi-platform networks and ad-tech. He also re-invigorated FremantleMedia’s creative drive.

In January 2018, at his own request, Guillaume de Posch stepped down as Co-CEO of RTL Group and since then he serves as a non-executive member of RTL Group’s Board of Directors.

Since May 2017 President of the Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT).

 

 

Thomas Götz

General Counsel Bertelsmann SE & Co KGaA

In April 2015, Thomas Götz was appointed as Non-Executive Director to RTL Group’s Board of Directors for a term of office of three years, to expire at the end of the Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders ruling on the 2017 accounts. In April 2018, the Annual General Meeting renewed the appointments of Götz for a term of office of three years expiring at the end of the Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders ruling on the 2020 accounts.

Thomas Götz, born in 1971, has been General Counsel at Bertelsmann SE & Co KGaA since January 2014. From 2009 to 2013, he was Co-Head of Mergers and Acquisitions at Bertelsmann. Prior to this he worked for two years as Senior Vice President Mergers and Acquisitions. Thomas Götz graduated from the University of Bayreuth with a doctorate in law in 1999. A year earlier, during his studies, he joined Bertelsmann’s Corporate Legal department as an in-house lawyer.

Rolf Hellermann

CEO of Arvato Financial Solutions

In August 2015, Rolf Hellermann was co-opted as a Non-Executive Director to RTL Group’s Board of Directors to replace Achim Berg who resigned with effect on 12 July 2015. The next ordinary general shareholder’s meeting voted on his appointment.

 

After studying business administration in Vallendar, Los Angeles, and Nancy, Rolf Hellermann received his doctorate from WHU – The Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar. Immediately afterwards, he started at the Bertelsmann Corporate Centre in 2004. In 2012, Rolf Hellermann took over as head of Bertelsmann’s central Controlling and Strategy department. In July 2015, he was additionally appointed to the Arvato Board as Chief Financial Officer. Rolf Hellermann was appointed CEO of Arvato Financial Solutions in November 2018.

 

 

 

 

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.

Bernd Kundrun

Investor


Bernd Kundrun, born in 1957, studied business administration at the universities of Münster and Innsbruck. In 1984, he started his career as Executive Assistant at the Bertelsmann Club. In 1993, he was appointed Chairman of the Board of Management of the Bertelsmann Club.

In 1994, Bernd Kundrun became Managing Director of Premiere Medien in Hamburg. He was appointed a member of the Executive Board of Gruner + Jahr in August 1997 and was responsible for the newspaper division until 31 October 2000.

From November 2000 to 6 January 2009, Bernd Kundrun was Chairman of Gruner + Jahr’s Executive Board and the company’s CEO: During this time, he was also a member of the Executive Board of Bertelsmann. Since February 2009, Bernd Kundrun has been partner of the online donation platform Betterplace.org and since 2010 he has been Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Gut.org.

At the end of 2009, Bernd Kundrun found the Start 2 Ventures Beteiligungsgesellschaft which provides online startups with initial capital. Furthermore he is member of the Board of Directors of Neue Zürcher Zeitung and of the Supervisory Board of CTS Eventim.

Jean-Louis Schiltz*

Tech Law Advisor
Professor (hon.)

On 19 April 2017, Jean-Louis Schiltz was appointed Non-Executive Director to RTL Group’s Board of Directors for a term of office of one year, to expire at the end of the Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders ruling on the 2017 accounts. In April 2018, the Annual General Meeting renewed the appointments of Shiltz for a term of office of three years expiring at the end of the Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders ruling on the 2020 accounts.

Jean-Louis Schiltz, born in 1964, holds a post graduate degree (DEA) in business law from the University of Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne. He has also been teaching at his alma mater in the early 1990’s.

From 2004 to 2009, Jean-Louis Schiltz was a Cabinet minister in Luxembourg. His portfolios included media, telecommunications, technology (IT and internet in particular), international development and defense. Jean-Louis Schiltz is a tech law advisor, a partner at Schiltz & Schiltz (avocats) and a Professor (hon.) at the University of Luxembourg. His work focuses on Technology (TMT, FinTech, internet), Regulatory as well as M&A and Finance.

He is a regular speaker at tech law conferences and has authored and co-authored a number of articles and reports in the field over the last years. He continues to do so. Jean-Louis Schiltz serves on the boards of a number of companies and non-profit organisations. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Smart Sustainable Development Model (SSDM) of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

Rolf Schmidt-Holtz

Business founder and investor


Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, born in 1948 in Martinsreuth, Germany, is an examined lawyer and studied political science and psychology. Rolf Schmidt-Holtz has been an independent business founder and investor since April 2011. He was CEO of Sony Music Entertainment from February 2006 (until October 2008 Sony BMG Music Entertainment) to March 2011. Prior to this appointment, he served the company as Chairman of the Board from August 2004.

From January 2001 to August 2004, he was Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG). At the same time, Rolf Schmidt-Holtz was a member of the Bertelsmann AG Executive Board (from 2000) and headed the BMG division, which consisted of the Sony BMG Music Entertainment joint venture and BMG Music Publishing. He also served the Bertelsmann Board as Chief Creative Officer. Schmidt-Holtz was also a member of the Supervisory Boards of Gruner + Jahr and RTL Group. He is a member of the Bertelsmann foundation’s Board of Trustees.

Prior to BMG, Schmidt-Holtz served as Chief Executive Officer of CLT-UFA. He later oversaw the merger of CLT-UFA with Pearson Television to form the RTL Group. He is Co-Founder and Chairman of Just Software AG and Co-Founder and Partner of Hanse Ventures GmbH.

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.

Lauren Zalaznick

Media and TV trend setter

In April 2018, Lauren Zalaznick was appointed as Non-Executive Director to RTL Group’s Board of Directors for a term of office of three years, expiring at the end of the Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders ruling on the 2020 accounts.

Lauren Zalaznick has devoted her career in media to transforming the cultural landscape.

Zalaznick began her career in independent feature film, crossing over to become a television executive overseeing such brands as VH1, Bravo, Oxygen, and Telemundo. Today, she advises and invests in the world’s leading digital/media brands, including Refinery29, Medium, Atlas Obscura, and The Sundance Institute. She recently produced the feature-length documentary, Generation Start-Up. And she is the Executive Producer for the hit Fox Broadcast Network game show, Beat Shazam. In her spare time, she curates the influential weekly newsletter The LZ Sunday Paper, for which she culls the most important news of the week by and about women in business, media, and pop culture.

Zalaznick herself has been widely recognised as an industry shape-shifter and innovator, and has received many honours for her achievements. Aside from her many Emmy, BDA, and Webby Award nominations and wins, she was the youngest person ever to be awarded the Brandon Tartikoff Lifetime Achievement Award by Natpe; the year prior, she was inducted into to the Broadcasting & Cable Hall Of Fame. Time magazine named Zalaznick one of the “Time 100: World’s Most Influential People,” and Vanity Fair named her to their “New Establishment” list; earlier, she was the subject of a New York Times Magazine cover story.  Zalaznick delivered a Ted talk that has been viewed close to a million times. 

 

Currently, she is a director of The Nielsen Company; GoPro; Penguin Random House; and Shazam. Zalaznick is a Trustee Emerita of Brown University, from which she graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

 

* Independent Director

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