Bertelsmann has appointed Fernando Carro as CEO of its Direct Group as part of a reorganization of the division, which comprises book clubs, music clubs and e-commerce.

Carro, who has held executive positions at Direct Group -- including MD at the Spanish and German clubs -- will oversee the division's European and Asian operations.

Bertelsmann said the new structure will create closer strategic interlinking of the club, bookselling and Internet activities. The company believes there are "good growth opportunities", especially in Eastern Europe and Asia. The new Direct Group operates media clubs and book stores in 23 countries.

Stuart Goldfarb, president and CEO of Bertelsmann Direct North America (formerly Direct Group North America), will now report to Bertelsmann executive board member Peter Olson, chairman and CEO of Random House. This reorganization follows the decision by Direct Group CEO Ewald Walgenbach to resign; he will oversee the changes before his departure.

Bertelsmann AG's chairman and CEO Gunther Thielen said in a statement, "I would like to thank Ewald Walgenbach for his outstanding entrepreneurial achievements at Direct Group over the past few years. The U.S. business was strengthened considerably, and turnaround processes in major European markets were systematically pursued.

"On the basis of what has been achieved to date, we are confident about the successful continued development of our international club ventures. These operations will continue to be a core business at Bertelsmann. I am very pleased to have Fernando Carro and Stuart Goldfarb, two experienced Bertelsmann executives, in these two key positions."

Following its acquisition of Columbia House, Bertelsmann Direct North America became the largest direct marketer of music, DVDs and books in the U.S. with millions of members through various club catalogs and online.