CEO Martin Weiss is reorganising his team. Stefan Atanassov has been recruited as Chief Product Officer and Anne Karoline Frizen as Head of Corporate Development.
With effect of 1 January 2022, Paul-Bernhard Kallen (64) will be relinquishing his post as CEO of Hubert Burda Media to Martin Weiss (54) and concentrating on chairing the Administrative Board. Its members are Hubert Burda, Jacob Burda, Elisabeth Furtwängler, Paul-Bernhard Kallen and Andreas Rittstieg. The Executive Board reports to this body.
Paul-Bernhard Kallen joined the Burda Executive Board on 1 January 1999 and succeeded publisher Hubert Burda at the helm of the Burda Group at the start of 2010. Since then, he has grown the organisation into a digital and media group of European stature with a consistent consumer focus. Despite encountering major obstacles in Russia, the Ukraine and Turkey, coupled with persistent headwinds in the print media sector, Hubert Burda Media sales have risen from 1.6 billion euros (2009) to 2.8 billion euros (2020), while its earnings during this period increased even more sharply. In his role as chairman of the Administrative Board at Hubert Burda Media, he will continue to devote his efforts to maintaining digital sovereignty in Europe and achieving effective legislative solutions toward restoring a level playing field on the European market.
Hubert Burda, together with his two children Jacob and Elisabeth the company’s sole shareholder, thanked his CEO: “Throughout our 26 years of working together, Paul-Bernhard Kallen and I were always of one mind, striving to lead our family enterprise with courage, unremitting optimism and creative drive so that we could hand it over in outstanding shape to the next generation. Every single day during those many years I could be certain he would take the correct decisions – based on his entrepreneurial instinct and with this goal in mind. On behalf of Jacob and Elisabeth as well, I would like to thank Paul-Bernhard Kallen from the bottom of my heart. I am happy that he will be heading the Administrative Board in the years ahead.” Paul-Bernhard Kallen: “I joined Burda in 1996 because the publisher and entrepreneur Hubert Burda was obsessed with the digital revolution and wanted to chart his company’s future in that new direction. His courage in embracing innovation, his willingness to take risks and his tenacity in the face of adversity were a great incentive for me – and enabled the company to embrace that transformative challenge. I would like to thank the Burda family for their trust and support. My successor Martin Weiss is an experienced entrepreneur, strategist and investor. I wish him every success as he takes the operative lead in this marvellous organization.”
Martin Weiss has been at Burda since 2015 and on the Board since 2017, where he has been responsible for the international business and investments. The Administrative Board has thus now appointed a CEO who has already successfully driven internationalisation and grown Burda Principal Investments (BPI), stressed Paul-Bernhard Kallen. Executive Under Martin Weiss, the wholly owned investment company BPI has concluded more than 25 investments in Europe, the US and Asia over the past five years. The fastest-growing companies in its portfolio include Europe’s leading secondhand platform Vinted, the British e-commerce firm Bloom&Wild and the Asian used-car sales service Carsome. The neighbourhood platform Nebenan.de, initially also a shareholding, is now majority-owned by Burda and has been successfully integrated in the Group. Future CEO Martin Weiss: “I would like to thank the Burda family and Paul-Bernhard Kallenfor their trust. The Burda Group is a fascinating platform for innovation, entrepreneurship and growth. I’m excited to take the helm in January 2022.”
Katharina Herrmann (46), who has been HR Director since 2018, will begin her tenure on the Executive Board on 1 January 2022; there she will be responsible for HR and Compliance. Andreas Rittstieg (65), responsible for Legal and Compliance since 2014, will be withdrawing from his operational role on the Executive Board and devoting his energies to the Administrative Board. In that position he will continue to advise the Group on pivotal legal matters. Paul-Bernhard Kallen: “It did not take Katharina Herrmann long to find her feet at Burda, and she has actively driven the development of HR since. She will be contributing key impulses and leadership skills in a working world that is fundamentally changing. I am delighted that she will be taking responsibility for this remit on the Executive Board.” Paul-Bernhard Kallen also expressed his gratitude to retiring Executive Board member Andreas Rittstieg: “When we were able to secure Andreas Rittstieg for Burda, he had already achieved everything a lawyer can possibly achieve. We were attracted by his interest in innovation and his inspired creativity. He has done a brilliant job on the Executive Board, and we thank him with all our hearts for this. We are very happy he will be staying on in a responsible position on the Administrative Board."
Philipp Welte will continue to steer domestic publishing operations on the Executive Board; Holger Eckstein will remain CFO.
Further details on the responsibilities within the new Hubert Burda Media Executive Board will be announced at a later date.
Given its increasingly global character and the need to endow it with a resilient corporate structure for the future, Hubert Burda and his two children Jacob Burda and Elisabeth Furtwängler established a European Company (Societas Europaea or “SE”) in 2017 to manage the Group. It is headed by an administrative board. Hubert Burda is the personally liable shareholder. Within the SE structure, Paul-Bernhard Kallen has held the positions of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and chair of the Administrative Board concurrently since 2017. The latter’s members also include the shareholders Hubert Burda, Jacob Burda and Elisabeth Furtwängler along with Andreas Rittstieg. The active Executive Board will continue to exercise operational management from 2022 onwards. The Hubert Burda Media Group will remain fully owned by the family.