Thomas Rabe



Chairman / CEO

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 Group as CFO in 2000 and moved to the same post at parent Bertelsmann in 2006, before being appointed CEO in 2012. Since taking the helm, Rabe has expanded digital activities, diversifying operations around the globe, accelerating growth and achieving record operating profits. The company’s success reflects strong performances in subsidiaries, including RTL Group, Penguin Random House, BMG, Gruner & Jahr and Arvato. Rabe attributes the group’s prosperity to continued investments in artists and creative formats. He took on the additional role of RTL Group CEO in 2019.


  • RTL Group
  • Clearstream
  • Treuhand


  • University of Colonge (Germany)

Variety Honors

  • 2017 Variety500 Honoree
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News from Variety

Media Giant Bertelsmann to Invest $1.1 Billion in China, India, Brazil

Media Giant Bertelsmann to Invest $1.1 Billion in China, India, Brazil

BERLIN -- German media giant Bertelsmann, which owns European broadcaster RTL Group, publishing house Penguin Random House and music rights company BMG, is to raise its investment in Brazil, India and China from €500 million ($536 million) to €1 billion ($1.07 billion) over the next three to five years.Chief executive Thomas Rabe said in an interview with the Financial Times published Sunday that the company generated €500 million ($536 million) of its revenue -- which totaled €17.1 billion ($18.3 million)...


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