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Anke Schäferkordt, the former co-CEO of media giant RTL Group, is stepping down as chief of the group’s Germany division and exiting the company after nearly three decades. Schäferkordt will leave RTL on Dec. 31.

The company said Schäferkordt’s departure was a mutual and amicable decision. Bernd Reichart, the current managing director of the German channel Vox, will succeed Schäferkordt as CEO of RTL Deutschland.

“After more than 27 years with RTL, leaving the company is not an easy step,” Schäferkordt said. “Given our very strong management team and the clear strategic direction we have jointly developed over many years, I believe that a swift transition is in the best interest of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland.”

Bert Habets, CEO of RTL Group, said that Schäferkordt had “shaped the success story of RTL Group.”

“In the name of more than 14,000 employees and RTL Group’s Executive Committee, I would like to deeply thank Anke for her fantastic performance, strong leadership and strategic vision,” Haberts said.

He praised Schäferkordt for playing a key role in turning the channel Vox into one of RTL Group’s most profitable and strongest brands, and expanding all of the company’s German channels, leading the unit to triple its operating profit since 2005.

Schäferkordt has been in the vanguard of women in the European television business. She began her career at RTL in 1991 in Cologne, Germany. From 1993 to 1995, she was in charge of RTL Television’s corporate planning and controlling division, then spent several years in various senior roles at Vox, including as CEO. She served as co-CEO of the entire RTL Group, along with Guillaume de Posch, from 2012 to 2017, and together they pursued an increasingly digital and international growth plan.

Reichart joined RTL Group in 2004 as head of investor relations at Spanish commercial broadcaster Antena 3. He later worked as managing director of multi-channel Antena 3/Atresmedia. Reichart was named managing director of Vox and a member of the management team of RTL’s Germany division in Feb. 2013.

“Under [Reichart’s] leadership, Vox has made a huge leap into the first league of German TV channels,” said Habets, adding that Reichart “combines outstanding programming skills, management capabilities and international experience.”

Habets said Reichart would be in charge of continuing to build RTL Group’s “track record in Germany with even more local, exclusive content and ambitious expansion plans in video on demand.”