Gunter Thielen, head of the Bertelsmann Foundation, which controls more than 50% of the privately held company, is the new chairman-CEO. Siegfried Luther, CFO of Bertelsmann AG since 1990, will be appointed deputy chairman of the executive board.
Middelhoff's departure under pressure does not appear to be financially motivated. The financial results for Bertelsmann are âon budgetâ for the first half of 2002 and the company expects a âreturn on its profit participation certificates of 15%,â according to a statement.
Middelhoff is rumored to be a candidate for the job as CEO of Deutsche Telekom, according to published reports.