Thomas Hesse Leaving Bertelsmann At End of Year

Thomas Hesse is leaving Bertelsmann as Billboard reported yesterday. The German media conglomerate, which owns BMG, one of the globe's largest music publishers, issued a statement confirming that its supervisory board met today and Hesse will be released from his role at the company on Dec. 31 2013.

Breaking: Thomas Hesse, Bertelsmann President of Corp Development, Stepping Down (Report)

The company said Hesse's responsibilities will be handled by current Chairman and CEO Thomas Rabe, though Hesse will continue to serve the board in an advisory role.

In the statement, Rabe noted that Hesse, "established new digital forums and processes that have significantly advanced the level of expertise and knowledge transfer at Bertelsmann. He also contributed the experience of his long years in the music business to the building of the new BMG."

Hesse joined the Bertelsmann Executive Board on Feb. 2012. Previously, he was President in charge of Global Digital Business, US Sales and Corporate Strategy at Sony BMG and then Sony Music Entertainment. Hesse came to Sony from Bertelsmann as a result of the 2004 merger between BMG and Sony Music. He began his career in 1991 as a consultant with McKinsey & Company before joining Bertelsmann’s TV business, now RTL Group, in 1996.

The Bertelsmann statement read as follows:

Thomas Hesse, Bertelsmann Executive Board member and President, Corporate Development and New Businesses, wishes to pursue new professional opportunities in the digital business sector and therefore has asked the Supervisory Board to release him from his Executive Board mandate. The Supervisory Board has granted this request at its meeting today, respectful of his wish for a change. Hesse will resign his Executive Board mandate on the best of mutual terms, with effect from 31 December 2013. He will remain affiliated with Bertelsmann as a consultant to the Executive Board. This advisory mandate relates especially to Bertelsmann's business development in the United States, as well as opportunities for investing in digital businesses. Hesse will not be replaced on the Executive Board. His areas of responsibility will be taken over by Bertelsmann Chairman & CEO, Thomas Rabe.