Change at the top at Burda

Offenburg / Munich (dpa) – The CEO of Hubert Burda Media, Paul-Bernhard Kallen, is leaving the position after more than ten years.

On January 1st 2022 the 64 – year old hands over the chairmanship of the board to Martin Weiss, as the media group announced on Thursday in Offenburg and Munich. The 54 – year old has been working for Burda since 2015 and since 2017 as a board member responsible for international activities and the investment business. This brings a manager to the top who already knows the company well and is also known within the company.

Kallen is withdrawing from the operational business for Burda after more than two decades, but remains at the same time he the chairman of the board of directors. The committee represents the interests of the shareholders at Burda, the group of companies is 100 percent owned by the Burda family. The board reports to the board of directors. The committee includes publisher Hubert Burda, his two children Elisabeth Furtwängler and Jacob Burda and, in addition to Kallen, Andreas Rittstieg (65), who is also leaving the board. There he was responsible for the areas of law and compliance.

Broadly positioned

Hubert Burda Media has developed into an increasingly broadly positioned group over the past few decades. The journalistic flagships in Germany are the magazines “Bunte” and “Focus”. The majority of sales, which 2020 were around 2.8 billion euros, were generated digitally. Well-known platforms are the Xing professional network and the holiday booking platform HolidayCheck. End 2020 were around 11 000 Employees employed. 2009 the total turnover was still around 1.6 billion euros.

Kallen came 1999 to the Burda board and then took over the management of the Burda group at the beginning 2010 from publisher Hubert Burda. He built the company into a European digital and media company. In interviews, Kallen also repeatedly commented on media policy issues, for example he criticized the market power of the major US platforms and campaigned for regulation in Europe to guarantee equal opportunities in the competitive environment.

The topic of personnel is being upgraded

The board of directors at Burda is now positioned as follows: In addition to Weiss as the new chairman, Katharina Herrmann, who has been HR director since 2018 (2018 ) was appointed to the Executive Board on January 1 2022 and is responsible for the newly created Human Resources and Compliance department. This is also intended to upgrade the topic of personnel in the company. Philipp Welte will remain on the board for the national publishing business and Holger Eckstein will be responsible for finance as CFO. With this, Burda reduced the board from five to four members at this point in time.

Publisher Hubert Burda said: «Paul-Bernhard Kallen and I were in our 26 – years of cooperation, we always agree that we want to lead our family business boldly, with a lot of optimism and creative drive into the future, so that we can hand it over to the next generation in excellent condition. Every day in the past few years I could be sure that he was making the right decisions with this in mind and with entrepreneurial instinct. “

Kallen emphasized:” I am 1996 came to Burda because the publisher and entrepreneur Hubert Burda was obsessed with the digital revolution and wanted to realign his company accordingly. His courage to innovate, his willingness to take risks and his persistence in the event of setbacks were a great incentive for me and made this development of the company possible. ” The future CEO Martin Weiss emphasized that the group is well positioned for the future.

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