Thomas Coesfeld, the current CFO of BMG, will now become the music company’s new CEO with effect from July 1, 2023.
He succeeds the founding CEO Hartwig Masuch, who, according to the company, is leaving BMG and Bertelsmann “at his own request and on the best of mutual terms”.
According to Bertelsmann, “due to his personal plans for the future, Hartwig Masuch had requested an earlier departure” from the company, but will remain associated with Bertelsmann in an advisory capacity until 2026.
The CEO changeover was originally scheduled for January 1, 2024.
Upon taking office at BMG, Thomas Coesfeld will also become a member of Bertelsmann’s Group Management Committee (GMC). The committee advises the Group Executive Board.
As he prepares to take office as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Thomas Coesfeld has announced further senior appointments for BMG.
The new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) – his successor in this office – will be Mathis Wolter, who joins BMG from RTL Group. Sebastian Hentzschel, currently Chief Technology Officer at BMG, will assume responsibility for the operating areas Rights & Royalties, Supply Chain, and Technology & Data as Chief Operating Officer (COO), and will continue to advance BMG’s global technology platform.
Dominique Casimir, who has been with BMG since 2008, will remain responsible for Repertoire and Marketing for the world outside the U.S., as well as Global Synch and Corporate Responsibility, as Chief Content Officer (CCO).
Nikola Holle-Spiegel, who joined BMG in 2018, remains the company’s Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO).
Mathis Wolter, Sebastian Hentzschel, Dominique Casimir and Nikola Holle-Spiegel will join Thomas Coesfeld on the BMG Executive Board. An additional new appointment to BMG’s top management team is Alberto Chullen Llamas, who joins BMG from Bertelsmann Education Group as Executive Vice President Investments to drive forward the Boost strategy and support future catalog acquisitions.
“I’m leaving on a high note – and in the firm conviction that with Thomas Coesfeld and his management team, a new generation will successfully lead the music company into a new era.”
Hartwig Masuch, BMG
Hartwig Masuch, outgoing CEO of BMG, explained: “BMG has set sales records in recent months, signed outstanding artists, acquired iconic music rights catalogs and developed new lines of business.
“The values of transparency, service, and fairness are now an inseparable part of what has become the company’s DNA, much respected by the entire music industry.
He added: “So I’m leaving on a high note – and in the firm conviction that with Thomas Coesfeld and his management team, a new generation will successfully lead the music company into a new era.
“The phase of transition and handover between us has gone so smoothly that I have decided to step down a few months earlier than originally planned. On a personal level, I look back with gratitude and pleasure on more than four decades in the music industry, 32 years at Bertelsmann and 14 years at the helm of BMG. It has been a fantastic time.”
“I would like to thank Hartwig Masuch for handing over a company which is both highly creative and successful. Hartwig’s clear focus on building a company which works for artists and songwriters has resulted in a globally relevant music company which has redefined what a music company can be in the streaming age.”
Commenting on the appointments, Thomas Coesfeld said: “We have a strong team at the helm of BMG, bringing together a wide range of skills and experience. Together we will drive the company’s progress, and I very much look forward to working with them all.
“I would like to thank Hartwig Masuch for handing over a company which is both highly creative and successful. Hartwig’s clear focus on building a company which works for artists and songwriters has resulted in a globally relevant music company which has redefined what a music company can be in the streaming age.
He added: “Together, with the aid of Bertelsmann’s Boost strategy, we have invested more than €500 million in acquiring music rights catalogs including those of such megastars as Tina Turner, Mötley Crüe, Simple Minds, Jean-Michel Jarre, and ZZ Top. I am excited to build on this incredible foundation. In addition, I very much look forward to working alongside Bertelsmann’s top management on the GMC and would like to thank Thomas Rabe for appointing me to this committee.”
“I would like to thank Hartwig Masuch and Thomas Coesfeld for the smooth handover at the helm of BMG. Hartwig has written many chapters in BMG’s success story, which Thomas will now continue.”
Thomas Rabe, Bertelsmann
Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe said: “I would like to thank Hartwig Masuch and Thomas Coesfeld for the smooth handover at the helm of BMG. Hartwig has written many chapters in BMG’s success story, which Thomas will now continue
“Thomas Coesfeld takes the helm of a company whose revenues increased by more than 30 percent in the record-setting year 2022. As CFO, he got to know BMG well, drove forward its digital orientation, and invested considerable funds in the acquisition of music rights.
“I am certain that BMG will continue to grow under Thomas Coesfeld’s leadership, and I wish him and his new management team the best of luck in their efforts. I also look forward to working with Thomas on the Bertelsmann Group Management Committee.”
Commenting further on Masuch’s departure, Rabe, said: “A great music entrepreneur – and an extremely valued and respected colleague – is leaving the company. Since 2008, Hartwig Masuch has built a new type of music company under the Bertelsmann umbrella, one that centers on/prioritizes the interests of artists and songwriters.
“BMG now works with some of the world’s most prominent creatives. Hartwig Masuch has continuously expanded BMG’s business, culminating in record sales last year.
“We at BMG and Bertelsmann are deeply grateful to Hartwig Masuch for his lifetime achievement, as well as for the great creative and entrepreneurial impetus he has given to the work of the Bertelsmann Group Management Committee. In recent weeks and months, Hartwig Masuch has set the course for a smooth transition to his successor Thomas Coesfeld. We are complying with his wish to bring forward the date of his retirement after three decades at Bertelsmann. We are pleased that Hartwig Masuch will continue to advise our company until 2026. Personally and on behalf of the Executive Board, I wish him all the very best for the future.”
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