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Thomas Rabe

Chairman and CEO



Chairman and CEO








Lifestyle & Culture



What makes Thomas Rabe a Global Shaker?

Thomas Rabe, the CEO and chairman of Bertelsmann, was once a punk rocker with green hair. He was also appointed as the CEO of the Luxembourg-based RTL Group in 2019.

Bertelsmann, which started as a publishing house, and grown to become a major media conglomerate throughout Europe and beyond, offering television, radio, music, magazines and business services. Under Thomas leadership, the company experienced much growth, expanding to South America and Asia. Bertelsmann also extended its service offerings and became a more digitalised enterprise.

The company operates in more than 20 countries, with more than 40 TV channels and a dozen publishing companies and entities under its hood, such as RTL, Penguin Random House, Gruner + Jahr  and BMG. The company has over 9 billion euros in equity as of 2018.

Thomas was appointed at a time of crisis, when Bertelsmann, like many other media companies, was facing stiff and potentially fatal competition from digital media platforms. He considers the digital landscape an opportunity rather than a threat.

Before his career in media, Thomas earned a doctorate in economics and worked in financial services after . In addition to his native German, he also speaks English, Dutch, French and Spanish.

Tags: music, publishing, Radio, TV

Last updated: May 20, 2019