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Ex-Axel-Springer-Vorstand Andreas Wiele

ProSiebenSat1: Former Springer Board Member Andreas Wylie becomes Chairman of the Supervisory Board

Ex-Axel Springer Board Member Andreas Wiele
Photo Alliance / dpa / Reuters Photo Europe / Rally | Hannibal Henchick

ProSiebenSat.1 media group will receive a new chair of the supervisory board.

One director who has worked for another powerful media group is being considered: former Springer board member Andreas Wiele.

Wiele is now getting a tailwind after Business Insider recently reported that there are internal power struggles with major shareholder Silvio Berlusconi.

Former Springer board member Andreas Wiele (59) is set to become the new chair of the supervisory board for ProSiebenSat media group. The television company announced this Monday evening in Unterföhring near Munich. The annual general meeting is scheduled for May 5, 2022, at which time elections will be held. The current Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Werner Brandt, 67, is no longer serving after two terms in office.

Weil has worked for decades for media group Axel Springer in Berlin, which also includes Business Insider. In 2020, after nearly 20 years, he relinquished his board mandate and left the group. Since 2000 he has been responsible for several departments as a member of the Springer Board of Directors. Recently, he was a board member for the classifieds media sector – i.e. the online classifieds business. Wiele then turned to American financial investor Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR). He partnered with Springer in 2019 and became a lead investor. The group withdrew from the exchange, the common goal: to grow faster in the digital business

ProSiebenSat.1 also told Wiele that he has been the founder of the company since leaving Springer and has worked for KKR as a senior advisor to KKR’s global technology/media and communications firm. KKR also owns shares in ProSiebenSat.1 media group since 2020, but sold the bulk in 2021. Years ago, KKR was already active in ProSiebenSat.1 and temporarily held shares.

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Rainer Bojian is expected to remain a spokesperson for the board

Wiele will be appointed by the court as a member of the supervisory board from mid-February, according to ProSiebenSat.1. He succeeded Adam Kahan, who resigned. At the general meeting, Wiele must then be promoted to Chairman.
The supervisory board has also given group chief manager Rainer Beaujean the tailwind: The 53-year-old will be extended for five years from July 1, 2022, it was said. “With this contract extension, he has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors.” Pugin is currently the spokesperson for the board of directors.

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Speculation about Bojian last surfaced in November. As Business Insider exclusively reported at the time, Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian prime minister and the only major shareholder in ProSiebenSat.1 with around 24 percent of the shares, was said to be unhappy with Bogian. Berlusconi does not want to extend the station chief’s contract, which expires in June, and fill three positions on the supervisory board with his people, Business Insider reports. Berlusconi’s Mediaset Group wants to create a European media holding company. Beaujean considers such a merger pointless, given that Mediaset is hardly digitized and in ProSiebenSat.1 it relies heavily on local shows, media, entertainment and sporting events.

At the time, Chairman of the ProSiebenSat.1 Supervisory Board Werner Brandt immediately explained: “The Supervisory Board fully supports the Board of Directors and the ProSiebenSat.1 strategy. We are very satisfied with the way the company has developed since Rainer Bogian and his team ran the company in March 2020. Berlusconi was caught in the crossfire: in mid-November, a secret meeting took place between Berlusconi and Brandt’s managers. The heads of the supervisory board accused the Pro7Sat1 of not controlling the Pro7Sat1 pathway well enough, according to informed sources.

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With excerpts from dpa