Chairman's Foreword

Dear readers,

Like so many companies worldwide, the coronavirus pandemic has confronted Bertelsmann with unexpected challenges. The impact of the crisis on our media, services and education businesses is not yet fully known, but its effects are considerable: for our employees, our customers and partners, and all those who feel a bond toward Bertelsmann.

At the same time, there are countless examples of solidarity across our businesses that demonstrate how creatively and entrepreneurially our employees are addressing the challenges brought on by the crisis: For example at Bertelsmann’s Content Alliance in Germany, and their efforts to fight the virus’s spread by under the slogan, Together against Corona. Penguin Random House is supporting groups affected by social isolation with book donations and retail book traders through reading campaigns and crowdfunding. Arvato Supply Chain Solutions is enabling the rapid delivery of medical supplies and equipment throughout Europe. And our online education companies are making selected programs available free of charge.

These are only some of the ways that Bertelsmann and its businesses play a role in many areas of daily life and society. They show how we take responsibility to help overcome the coronavirus crisis. Our media outlets, in particular, report, educate and reflect the diversity of opinions in our society, and are an integral and indispensable part of our values.

It is Bertelsmann’s responsibility to preserve these values.

Sincerely yours,

Thomas Rabe
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bertelsmann and Chief Executive Officer of RTL Group

P.S. This report also serves as our annual Communication on Progress on the implementation of the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles.