• Conze out as ProSiebenSat.1 announces reshuffle
  • Rainer Beaujean to become board chairman
  • German firm to focus on core business in strategy shift

Prosieben credit Lukassek shutterstock

Prosiebensat.1: Criticism from within leads to management shuffle

Source: Lukassek shutterstock

ProSiebenSat.1 CEO Max Conze has stepped down from his role as part of a management reshuffle at the German broadcaster.

The executive reshuffle sees chief financial officer Rainer Beaujean additionally assume the office of chairman of the executive board – a role previously held by Conze, who has departed with immediate effect.

The move came following criticism from within the company’s own ranks and a sharp decline in ProSiebenSat.1’s share price. It is the latest high profile departure for the company, after CTO Nick Thexton announced his departure in February.

With the departure of former Dyson CEO Conze, ProSiebenSat.1 announced a change in its strategic focus and several new appointments to the executive board.

Wolfgang Link, who heads the Entertainment segment, and Christine Scheffler, who is in charge of Human Resources, have both been named to board.

ProSiebenSat.1 said it will now focus on its core business in the entertainment sector primarily serving the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) with an emphasis on local and live content.

This, according to the announcement, will see the company work in close collaboration with subsidiaries Studio71 and Red Arrow Studios, the latter of which had been up for sale since September, until the coronavirus pandemic struck.

The company said its digital reach is to be further extended, including via the streaming platform Joyn, while NuCom remains an important pillar of the group in “synergistic terms”.

Werner Brandt, chairman of the supervisory board of ProSiebenSat.1 Media, said: “The Supervisory Board would like to thank Max Conze for his service. He has navigated the Company through a difficult period with resolution and determination. I have full confidence in the new Executive Board team.

“In Rainer Beaujean, a manager with analytical and implementation prowess, is assuming the chairmanship of the executive board. His 20 years of board experience will be of great benefit to the Company, particularly at this critical time. In Wolfgang Link and Christine Scheffler, we have also two highly capable new appointees on the Executive Board whose portfolios are key to the future success of ProSiebenSat.1.”

Beaujean has been CFO of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE since July 2019. He joined ProSiebenSat.1 from stock exchange-listed packaging manufacturer Gerresheimer AG, where he was also CFO, and also speaker of the management board from 2012. Prior to that, he was a member of the executive boards of the Elster Group, Demag Cranes and T-Online.

Beaujean said: “This company has far greater potential than is currently credited to it from outside. Under the leadership of the new executive board team, we will now return to focusing more strongly on our core segment of entertainment and on sustainably profitable business. While the corona pandemic poses a huge challenge for us in the weeks and months ahead, I firmly believe that we will emerge from this crisis all the stronger and return to generating shareholder value.”