Thomas Rabe
Hannibal Hanschke/Epa/REX/Shutterstock



Chairman / CEO

Bertelsmann CEO since 2012, Rabe began his career in Brussels at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Financial Institutions and Corporate Law and later worked for Germany’s Treuhandanstalt trust agency, which was established in 1990 to restructure and privatize some 8,500 East German companies. He joined RTL Group as CFOin 2000, broadcasting and moved to the same post at parent Bertelsmann in 2006 before his appointment as CEO in 2012.

Since he took office, Rabe “has strategically realigned the group to become faster growing, more digital and more international in the long term,” Christoph Mohn, Bertelsmann supervisory board chairman, said earlier this year. Indeed, under Rabe’s management, the company’s subsidiaries have grown: RTL Group has increased investment in digital holdings, including a majority stake in Canada’s BroadbandTV; book publishing unit Random House merged with the U.K.’s Penguin Group; the new BMG has expanded its activities in the music sector; and the Bertelsmann Education Group launched, bringing together its parent group’s various educational activities under one roof.

In July 2017, the company snapped up the 22% share of Penguin that Pearson owned. The company is also looking for growth outside the Europe, including investments in U.S., China, India and Brazil


  • Bertelsmann
  • RTL Group
  • Clearstream


  • University of Colonge (Germany)

News from Variety

C4/Five merger rumors return

LONDON-- There is fresh speculation concerning a tie-up between two of the U.K.'s cash-strapped webs, Five, owned by RTL Group, and hybrid pubcaster Channel 4.RTL chief executive Gerhard Zeiler is believed to have made a new approach to Channel 4 regarding potential partnerships with Five, which recently reported a loss of £36.7 million ($55 million).Zeiler, who sees Five's future as part of a consolidated U.K. TV sector, has reportedly met Channel 4's new chairman, Terry Burns, and its incoming CEO...


Deep Dive

Want more information on Thomas Rabe?

Variety's premium research & data service, Variety Insight, provides a wealth of information around everyone working in entertainment. Access contact information, development slates, ratings, box office, credits and more from the industry's leading source for entertainment data.