Berlin (dpa) – Media group Axel Springer is expanding 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 the media group in Berlin. Salah El-Din currently holds a leadership position at Springer and is responsible for the in-house academy, which combines training of journalists and 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 business, is also leaving the company on July 31 “on a better 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.
Focus on the USA
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.
According to the announcement, “With the board’s expansion, Axel Springer can continue its successful growth path following its recent acquisitions in the United States,” said Ralph Boschi, Chairman of Springer’s Supervisory Board. “I look forward to the next phase of the company’s development with an expanded and younger 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.
Higher priority for people topics
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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