Max Conze is to step down as CEO of German-based media company ProSiebenSat.1, effective immediately, with chief financial officer Rainer Beaujean expanding his role to become chairman of the executive board.
Conze (pictured) joined from British technology giant Dyson in 2018 to replace long-time ProSiebenSat.1 CEO Thomas Ebeling. During Conze’s tenure, the German company experienced a 3% increase in revenues and a 65% boost in profit in 2019.
As CEO of Dyson, the company strengthened its investments in various technologies and expanded its market position in Asia. Prior to Dyson, Conze held various management and marketing positions at Procter & Gamble over a 17-year period.
Conze’s departure also signals a change in strategic focus for the German organization, which announced Thursday (March 26) that it “is returning the primary focus of its operating business to the entertainment sector in the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland).” The company, in a statement, added that moving forward the main focus will be “on local and live formats, also in close cooperation with Red Arrow Studios and Studio71.”
In addition, the group will look to further extend its digital reach via its streaming platform, Joyn.
“Existing investments that benefit from advertising on the entertainment platforms will continue to be developed to generate value and sold in due course under an active portfolio policy,” the company said.
“This company has far greater potential than is currently credited to it from outside,” said Beaujean in a statement. “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 [virus] 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.”
In addition, the executive board has appointed Wolfgang Link, who leads the company’s entertainment segment, and Christine Scheffler, in charge of human resources, as new members.
Earlier this month, ProSiebenSat.1 revealed that it had shelved its plans to sell global production and distribution outfit Red Arrow Studios — six months after launching a strategic review of the company – due to the ongoing global COVID-19 outbreak.
With files from Barry Walsh