CEO leaves at end of year

Guillaume de Posch, CEO of pan-European broadcasting group ProSiebenSat.1, will step down at the end of the year “at his own request,” the company said on Tuesday.

The news comes as the group, rocked by disastrous first-quarter figures earlier this year, struggles with sinking ad sales and billions of euros in debt.

A replacement has yet to be named.

De Posch, a Belgian native, was deputy general manager and programming director at French satcaster TPS before he was recruited by former ProSiebenSat.1 owner Haim Saban as the group’s chief operating officer; he replaced former topper Urs Rohner in 2004.

Maeuser said de Posch had provided outstanding leadership, making ProSiebenSat.1 the “largest wholly owned broadcaster in Europe, reaching 200 million viewers across 13 countries.” De Posch said it was “the right time to move on” following the acquisition and integration of SBS Broadcasting, which the group took over last year.

In April, ProSiebenSat.1’s sales and marketing exec Peter Christmann resigned in the wake of the group’s poor first-quarter results and a dramatic 28% drop in its share price.

ProSiebenSat.1 also announced the promotion of Andreas Bartl, until now managing director of the German Free TV Group, to the executive board, where he will continue to oversee German channels ProSieben, Sat.1, Kabel Eins and N24 and serve directly as ProSieben’s managing director.

The German Free TV Group division is bundling the marketing operations of its four channels under one roof to boost brand recognition and sharpen the webs’ profiles.

Move follows the recent formation of the German Free TV Group unit under Bartl’s management to improve networking and coordination between the German stations.

“Clear market management of our German free TV stations is one of our greatest strengths,” Bartl said.

Malte Hildebrandt, head of marketing at ProSieben, will oversee marketing for the group from October.

The stations will retain their own marketing managers, but the execs will also work together for the group, with product and brand managers as well as media planners becoming employees of the German Free TV Holding.

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