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Bertelsmann aims to boost business decisions with new committee

By Giulia Cambieri

Bertelsmann, the German media company controlled by the Mohn family, has established a group management committee in a bid to strengthen its business decisions.

This is the first act of designated chairman and chief executive Thomas Rabe, the group’s current financial officer who will take on his new roles on 1 January 2012.

Rabe will head the committee, which will initially meet in March 2012. It will also include members of the executive board, as well as top executives from the company’s units across Europe.

“We want to take advantage of the knowledge and expertise of select senior executives and include their counsel in all major strategic and business decisions,” he said in a statement.

Anke Schäferkordt, chief executive of television and radio broadcaster Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, Gail Rebuck, head of book publisher Random House Group UK, and Nicolas de Tavernost, chairman of French broadcaster Groupe M6, are among those who will sit on the committee, said the Gütersloh-based company, which is Europe's largest media group by revenues.

Bertelsmann is owned by founder Carl Bertelsmann's descendants, with the Mohn family holding a 19.3% stake in the company and the Bertelsmann Foundation controlling the remaining 80.7%. No members of the family sit on Bertelsmann’s executive board. However, Liz, Christoph and Brigitte Mohn – the widow and children of Carl Bertelsmann’s grandson Reinhard Mohn – are members of the group’s supervisory body.

In 2010, the family business, which operates in 63 countries, had revenues of €15.8 billion.

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