AMSTERDAM — Holland Media Group CEO Dick van der Graaf abruptly resigned Wednesday due to a difference of opinion on the future shape of the territory’s largest commercial network.
Van der Graaf, who will leave Oct. 1, is believed to be the latest victim of a longstanding culture clash between conservative Luxembourg-based parent RTL Group and its Dutch subsidiary.
The differences over the years have caused the departure of several top HMG execs, among them former CEO Pieter Porsius and director of television and radio Unico Glorie.
Gerhard Zeiler, CEO of the RTL Group, commended Van der Graaf for his tenure. He added that HMG would move “into the next phase of its strategic growth and development.”
HMG board chairman Jean-Charles De Keyser has said that the new CEO will be Dutch.
Van der Graaf has been a central figure in commercial television in this territory.
In 1989 he was tapped marketing and sales director of commercial sales house IP. In 1999, when IP became a subsidiary of HMG in Holland, he was appointed both director general of IP and commercial director of HMG. He stepped up to become chief exec of HMG in December 1999.
From the outset Van der Graaf looked for ways to harness the synergies of the HMG Group’s three commercial TV channels, two radio stations and its production company, Holland Media House, to produce more revenue.
Under his direction, HMG has grown to become the second largest production company in Holland, behind Endemol.
Van der Graaf could not be reached for comment late Wednesday.