Bert Habets is to become the new co-CEO of RTL Group, replacing Anke Schäferkordt, who has decided to step down from the role and focus on the company’s largest business operation RTL Deutschland.
Schäferkordt has led the group since September 2005 and during this time, the company systematically expanded its portfolio of linear TV channels and digital services. She’ll continue to serve as a member of the exec board of RTL’s majority shareholder Bertelsmann.
Habets, who is currently CEO of RTL Nederland, will steer the ship alongside co-CEO Guillaume de Posch and CFO Elmar Heggen. He’s expected to join the RTL Group Board of Directors as an executive director from April 19 and will remain the Dutch boss for the time being. The company is expected to announce a new CEO for RTL Nederland before the end of the year.
The pan-European broadcaster has interests in 60 television channels, 31 radio stations, a raft of production outfits, including FremantleMedia and boasts a rapidly growing video business. Its portfolio includes RTL Television in Germany, M6 in France, the RTL channels in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia, Hungary and Antena 3 in Spain.
“I would like to thank the whole management team at RTL Group and above all Guillaume de Posch and Elmar Heggen, for the close and trustful collaboration over the past five years,” said Schäferkordt. “From our comprehensive strategic review in 2012 to the IPO of RTL Group in Frankfurt/Main in 2013, our push into online video and advertising technology, leading and re-positioning RTL Group has been a fantastic experience for me. Now is the right time for me to focus fully on further advancing our German TV and digital operations and contributing to the strategic development of Bertelsmann.”
RTL Chairman Thomas Rabe said: “On behalf of the whole Board, I would like to thank Anke Schäferkordt for her outstanding entrepreneurial performance at the head of RTL Group. Together with her colleagues on the Executive Committee, she has succeeded in making RTL Group more digital, more international and faster growing. At the same time, she and her management team in Germany have continued the success story of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland. While I regret her decision, I fully respect her reasons and I’m very happy that she will continue to lead and advance our largest business unit – and that she will contribute to her unique experience and expertise to the digital transformation of our group.”
He added: “Since Bert Habets joined our group in 1999, he has proven his outstanding leadership and creative skills. He transformed RTL Nederland from a traditional broadcaster into a media company which entertains its audience across all digital platforms. Bert Habets embodies RTL Group’s total video strategy.”