All this is a far cry from the swashbuckling days of Thomas Middelhoff, the Anglophile chief executive who was booted out after thinking that he might persuade the Mohns to float. Mr Middelhoff bought Random House, did the deals that made RTL, now the best business, and made a ridiculous sum, $7 billion, on a half-share of AOL Europe. Now, there is a cosier approach, where keeping the family happy matters too much. Remarkably, there is almost no Asian business and not much internet to talk about, although Hartmut Ostrowski, the new chief executive, talks about changing that. Yet a limited appetite for risk is already being seen in limited rewards, with profits up by only 3.4 per cent last year.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Bertelsmann Is Cautious
The Times Online takes a critical view of Bertelsmann's strategic vision but does note that since they are a family owned business maybe the criticism doesn't matter: