Bertelsmann adds supervisors

Pair hop onto board of media giant

BERLIN — German media giant Bertelsmann has added Joachim Milberg, supervisory board chairman of BMW, and Lars Rebien Sorensen, prexy-CEO of Danish pharmaceuticals company Novo Nordisk, to its supervisory board.

Milberg and Sorensen replace Rolf Breuer, supervisory board chairman of Deutsche Bank, and Peter Job, former CEO of Reuters Group, whose terms expired.

Dieter Vogel, chairman of Bertelsmann’s supervisory board, called Milberg and Sorensen “a good match for Bertelsmann because they represent a combination of commercial success and corporate responsibility, along with high powers of innovation and a strong focus on employees.”

On Wednesday, bankrupt media mogul Leo Kirch unsuccessfully tried to have Breuer ousted as supervisory board chairman of Deutsche Bank at the group’s shareholders’ meeting.

Deutsche Bank is facing a legal challenge from Kirch, who blames Breuer for the collapse of his media empire.

Kirch claims that comments by Breuer in February 2002, when he was CEO of Deutsche Bank, deterred other lenders from extending credit to his company. Kirch Media filed for insolvency shortly thereafter, crushed by $5.7 billion of debt and mounting losses.

Deutsche Bank is appealing a lower court ruling holding the bank and Breuer liable for Kirch’s insolvency.

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