Press Release

Press Release | Gütersloh, 03/31/2021

Stephan Schäfer Appointed to Bertelsmann’s Group Management Committee

  • Julia Jäkel leaves Bertelsmann at her own request
  • Bernd Reichart to head Bertelsmann Content Alliance

Stephan Schäfer, the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Gruner + Jahr and Chief Content Officer (CCO) of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, has been appointed to Bertelsmann’s Group Management Committee (GMC) with immediate effect. He succeeds Julia Jäkel, who is leaving the company at her own request and on the best of terms. The GMC advises and supports the Bertelsmann Executive Board on important matters of Group strategy and development, as well as on other Group-wide issues. The international committee currently comprises 17 members of six different nationalities.

Thomas Rabe, Chairman & CEO of Bertelsmann, said: “Stephan Schäfer has served in senior management positions at Bertelsmann for many years. He supervises important content businesses and is instrumental in driving the expansion of our media businesses to become a national champion. I very much look forward to working even more closely with him on the GMC in the future.”

Schäfer joined Gruner + Jahr in 2009 as Editor-in-Chief and Publishing Director. In 2013, he was appointed to the Gruner + Jahr Executive Board as Chief Product Officer. Since February 2019, he has also served as Managing Director Content & Brands at Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland. In this role, he will continue to be responsible for the portfolio of channels, the audio range, the streaming service TV Now, the journalistic offerings of RTL News, and the marketing of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland. Schäfer is also a member of Bertelsmann’s Content Alliance Board.

Julia Jäkel has been CEO of Gruner + Jahr and a member of the GMC since 2013, and, since 2019, additionally Chairwoman of the Bertelsmann Content Alliance. She leaves Bertelsmann on March 31, 2021.

As Thomas Rabe emphasized: “In recent years, Julia Jäkel has transformed G+J from a traditional magazine publisher into a modern, digital media company. Since 2013, as a member of Bertelsmann’s Group Management Committee, she has also provided important impetus for the Group’s further development. This is especially true for our content businesses, whose development and cooperation in Germany she drove forward as Chair of the Bertelsmann Content Alliance. I would like to thank her for the many services she has rendered to Bertelsmann over many years. I would like to wish her all the very best for her personal and professional future, both personally and on behalf of the Executive Board and GMC.”

Bernd Reichart, CEO of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and member of the Group Management Committee, is now heading the Bertelsmann Content Alliance as successor to Julia Jäkel with immediate effect, in addition to his existing functions. Reichart has been with Bertelsmann since 2002.

As of immediately, the Group Management Committee is composed of the following persons:

  • Thomas Rabe (Chairman & CEO of Bertelsmann and CEO of RTL Group)
  • Markus Dohle (CEO of Penguin Random House)
  • Elmar Heggen (COO and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of RTL Group)
  • Rolf Hellermann (Chief Financial Officer of Bertelsmann)
  • Immanuel Hermreck (Chief Human Resources Officer of Bertelsmann)
  • Dirk Kemmerer (CEO of Bertelsmann Printing Group)
  • Kay Krafft (CEO of Bertelsmann Education Group)
  • Annabelle Yu Long (CEO of the Bertelsmann China Corporate Center and Managing Partner of Bertelsmann Asia Investments)
  • Hartwig Masuch (CEO of BMG)
  • Madeline McIntosh (CEO of Penguin Random House U.S.)
  • Shobhna Mohn (Executive Vice President Growth Regions Strategy and Bertelsmann Investments)
  • Gail Rebuck (Board Member Penguin Random House)
  • Bernd Reichart (CEO of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland)
  • Stephan Schäfer (CEO of Gruner + Jahr and CCO of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland)
  • Frank Schirrmeister (CEO of Arvato Supply Chain Solutions)
  • Karin Schlautmann (Executive Vice President Corporate Communications of Bertelsmann)
  • Nicolas de Tavernost (Chairman of the Executive Board of Groupe M6)

About Bertelsmann
Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company that operates in about 50 countries around the world. It includes the broadcaster RTL Group, the trade book publisher Penguin Random House, the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr, the music company BMG, the service provider Arvato, the Bertelsmann Printing Group, the Bertelsmann Education Group and Bertelsmann Investments, an international network of funds. The company has around 130,000 employees and generated revenues of €17.3 billion in the 2020 financial year. Bertelsmann stands for creativity and entrepreneurship. This combination promotes first-class media content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world. Bertelsmann aspires to achieve climate neutrality by 2030. In 2021, Bertelsmann commemorates the 100th birthday of Reinhard Mohn, the Group's late post-war founder and longtime Chairman and CEO.