Media group Axel Springer expands its board of directors

The new building of the publishing house Axel Springer in Berlin.

The new building of the publishing house Axel Springer in Berlin.

Source: Soeren Stache / dpa-Zentralbild / dpa

Axel Springer wants to grow more aggressively in the US media field and supports this with the presence of a member of the US Executive Board. The commission is also being restructured – and it is increasing in size again.

DrMedia group Axel Springer has expanded its board of directors from four to five members.

Director Ulrike Handel (50) will join the committee on May 1 as the person responsible for the national media business with the “Bild” and “Welt” brands, and Niddal Salah-Eldin (36) on July 1 for the new “Talent &” culture”, as announced by a media group in Berlin. Salahuddin currently holds a leadership position at Springer responsible for the in-house academy, which combines training of journalists with technical talent, and was previously Deputy Editor-in-Chief at dpa from 2019 to 2021.

Former board member Stephanie Caspar, 48, who is in charge of the online classifieds sector, will also leave the company on July 31 “by mutual agreement,” Springer said. The media magazine “Medieninsider” reported first. The classifieds business division will be redesigned following a potential initial public offering of online job portal StepStone.

With the new members, the board will go on to form CEO Matthias Dubfner (59), Jan Baer (51), who will be appointed as deputy on July 1 and will lead US business, and Julian Deutz (54), who is responsible for finance and human resources.

“With the expansion of the Executive Board, Axel Springer can continue its successful growth trajectory following its recent acquisitions in the USA,” said Springer Supervisory Board Chairman Ralph Boschi, according to the announcement. “I look forward to the next phase of the company’s development with an expanded and renewed Executive Board,” Springer CEO Döpfner added.

Recently it became known that after acquiring American media brands, including the important brand “Politico”, Springer is focusing on the USA by restructuring the board of directors. Springer described the deal in October 2021 as the largest corporate acquisition in the company’s history. Bayer will be active in the United States for at least a year starting in the summer. So far he has been responsible for all media brands – both nationally and internationally.

Springer wants to grow faster in its digital business and entered into a strategic partnership with US financial investor Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) in 2019. Springer, which is headquartered in Berlin and employs about 16,000 employees worldwide, withdrew from the exchange in 2020.

Portions of the newly created “Talents and Culture” board, for which Saladin will be responsible in the future, were formerly the purview of Deutz. According to Springer, the new design should make these topics more focused than before. The highest priority is given to various cultural challenges in various areas of the company and all other issues related to individuals.

As a member of the Board of Directors, Salah El Din will continue to take charge as Managing Director and Chairman of the Board of FreeTech – Axel Springer Academy of Journalism and Technology. The 36-year-old had already worked at Springer before becoming Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Head of Innovation and Product at dpa. Between 2014 and 2019, she headed the Social Media and Digital Innovation division of the Welt media brand.

The Trade Manager has also worked at Springer for several years. Between 2000 and 2011 she held various management positions, including being a member of the publishing department of the Welt Group. This was followed by positions in marketing companies.

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