Thomas Rabe



Chairman / CEO

Since stepping in to run Bertelsmann in 2012, Rabe has expanded digital activities, diversifying operations around the globe, accelerating growth and achieving record profits. The company’s success reflects the strong performances of its subsidiaries, including RTL Group, Penguin Random House, BMG, Arvato and the Bertelsmann Education Group. Rabe began his career in Brussels as the European Commission’s directorate-general for financial institutions and later worked for Germany’s Treuhandanstalt, set up in 1990 to privatize thousands of companies in the former East Germany. He joined RTL as CFO in 2000, moved to the same post at parent Bertelsmann in 2006 and then took on the additional role of RTL Group CEO in 2019. Since assuming the position, Rabe has combined the group’s scripted teams across all RTL linear TV channels and streamer TVNOW.



  • RTL Group
  • Bertelsmann
  • Clearstream


  • University of Colonge (Germany)

Variety Honors

  • 2017 Variety500 Honoree
  • 2018 Variety500 Honoree
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News from Variety

Bert Habets Resigns as CEO of RTL; Thomas Rabe Takes Charge

Bert Habets Resigns as CEO of RTL; Thomas Rabe Takes Charge

Bert Habets has resigned as CEO of European media giant RTL, which has appointed Thomas Rabe to take over the role.RTL said Habets has stepped down as chief executive and also from the board of RTL. Rabe told Reuters that Habets was leaving for family reasons and that there were no disagreements over strategy. Habets recently outlined a huge investment program and plans to ramp up streaming services.Rabe will take on his new role in addition to his duties as...


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