NY Times: Ostrowski In Lead For Bertlesmann CEO Job
January 16, 2007 at 6:04 AM (PT)
THE NEW YORK TIMES is reporting that many insiders and outsiders are speculating that HARTMUT OSTROWSKI has emerged as the probable new chief executive of BERTLESMANN, the privately owned company that counts ARVATO among a portfolio of media companies, including the publisher RANDOM HOUSE, the pan-European broadcaster RTL and a half-interest in SONY BMG, the music label.
OSTROWSKI declined to discuss his prospects in advance of a management congress in GERMANY at which the new chief executive is expected to be introduced.
The choice is expected to be made after a meeting this week of a four-member supervisory board personnel committee. As the only family member on that committee, LIZ MOHN, 65, the wife of BERTLESMANN’s 85-year-old patriarch, REINHARD MOHN, will play a decisive role in the handover of power.
It will be the second time that Mrs. MOHN will be pivotal in the selection of the company’s new chief executive. Her clash with the former chief, THOMAS MIDDLEHOFF, over his ambitions to take the company public ultimately ended in his ouster in 2002.
BERTLESMANN would not comment about contenders for the top spot, but there has been plenty of public speculation in the GERMAN news media. Another name often cited is EWALD WALGENBACH, 47, the chief executive of BERTLESMANN’s book club business, DIRECT GROUP.