Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, CEO Sony Music in New York, will become a member of the supervisory board of the Hamburg-based publishing company Gruner + Jahr in March 2011. Schmidt Holtz was also appointed to the board of trustees of the Bertelsmann Stiftung (foundation) in Gütersloh effective Jan. 1, 2011. He was already member of the board of trustees from 2005 to 2007.

There is speculation in the German record industry today (Nov. 18) that Schmidt-Holtz will leave Sony Music in March and will work in German companies. A source said that it still is uncertain whether Schmidt-Holtz will extend his contract in March 2011, but a decision is expected within the next few months.

The printing and publishing company Grunner + Jahr (G+J) is Europe's biggest publisher of magazines and periodicals like Stern and Manager Magazin. G+J reaches readers and Web users in over 30 countries with more than 500 magazines and digital offerings. Bertelsmann AG owns 74.9% of Gruner + Jahr, the Jahr publishing family of Hamburg owns 25.1%.

The Bertelsmann Stiftung was founded by the late Bertelsmann owner Reinhard Mohn in 1977. Its nonprofit work is funded predominantly by income earned from its shares in Bertelsmann AG. Since its inception, the Bertelsmann Stiftung has spent roughly €805 million ($1.1 billion) on nonprofit projects. The total budget for the 2008 fiscal year amounted to €77.5 million ($105.6 million).

The project work is divided among a number of main programs, which are grouped under the topics "helping people" and "strengthening society." With its offices in Washington and Brussels, the Bertelsmann Stiftung has begun providing a targeted international framework for its ongoing project work.

Rolf Schmidt-Holtz is already one of four investors of the newly founded company Hanse Ventures based in Hamburg since May 2010.

Schmidt Holtz was member of the board of Gruner + Jahr in the '80s and later a member of the board of Bertelsmann. He was chief editor of the German Gruner + Jahr weekly magazine Stern, the daily newspaper Morgenpost in Hamburg and chief editor of the German TV and radio station WDR in cologne. He has been at the helm at Sony BMG since 2006 and remained with Sony after the separation of Sony and BMG.