Press release

Bernd Buchholz Appointed Chief Executive Officer of Gruner + Jahr

Hamburg, 05 January 2009 – Bernd Kundrun steps down as CEO

Dr Bernd Buchholz, a member of the G+J Executive Board and President of G+J Germany, has been appointed the new CEO of Gruner + Jahr by the company's supervisory board with immediate effect. Buchholz succeeds Dr Bernd Kundrun, who today resigned as CEO with immediate effect due to differences regarding Gruner + Jahr's future strategy. The company and Kundrun are parting ways in mutual agreement. Bernd Buchholz's appointment to the Bertelsmann Executive Board will be decided on by the appropriate administrative bodies at a later point in time.

Hartmut Ostrowski, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Gruner + Jahr AG & Co KG and CEO of Bertelsmann AG, stated: "The shareholders and I are very pleased to have Bernd Buchholz head the company. Mr. Buchholz is deeply familiar with the challenges of the magazine business and more than capable of further enhancing Gruner + Jahr's position as Europe's leading magazine publisher. He will ensure continuity in Gruner + Jahr's corporate development. In the new role, his entrepreneurial courage and a distinct understanding of innovation will help him lend new impetus to the company's further development."

Ostrowski added: "I would like to thank Bernd Kundrun, personally and on behalf of both shareholders, for his successful work over the past years. During his time as CEO, Mr Kundrun made valuable contributions to Gruner + Jahr's development. Today, Gruner + Jahr commands leading market positions, among them growth markets such as Eastern Europe and China."

Bernd Kundrun: "Despite our differences about strategic matters in recent months, I would like to thank Gruner + Jahr's shareholders for their many years of trust. I am also grateful for nearly 25 exciting, fulfilling years during which I was privileged to contribute to various challenging professional endeavors at Bertelsmann. The support I received from Gruner + Jahr's managing editors, management and staff during my eleven years on the Executive Board and eight years as CEO have made this time the most enriching experience of my professional life. Gruner + Jahr has always been and will always be a very special media company. It represents journalistic quality, independence and innovation like no other publisher."

Bernd Kundrun began his career at Bertelsmann in 1984 as an assistant to the management of Bertelsmann Club GmbH, after completing his studies and doctorate at the Universities of Münster and Innsbruck. After stints as sales manager and director of marketing, he was appointed Chairman of the Bertelsmann Club GmbH management board in early 1993. In 1994, he left to become the CEO of Premiere Medien GmbH & Co KG in Hamburg. In August 1997, he was appointed to the Gruner + Jahr management, and until 31 October 2000 headed the company's Newspapers division. In November 2000, Kundrun was appointed to chair the Gruner + Jahr AG Executive Board, at the same time taking a seat on the Executive Board of Bertelsmann AG.

Important strategic decisions were made during Kundrun's time as CEO of Gruner + Jahr, including the takeover of the majority of shares in Motor Presse Stuttgart, the establishment of the gravure joint venture Prinovis, and the expansion of the publisher's international business. Under Kundrun's management, Gruner + Jahr expanded to numerous emerging markets in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and South America.

In 2005, he oversaw the establishment of a joint venture with Sanoma International in Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia. In China, Gruner + Jahr bought a stake in the country's second-largest magazine publisher. Under Kundrun's leadership, Gruner + Jahr has strengthened its position as the journalistic quality leader in many markets.

In Kundrun's eight years as CEO, Gruner + Jahr launched more than 80 new magazines in over 20 countries, including 15 editions of GEO magazine in Eastern Europe, India and Brazil, the popular German titles BRIGITTE WOMAN and NEON and the Austrian women's magazine WOMAN. Under the "Expand your Brand" strategy initiated by Bernd Kundrun, Gruner + Jahr resolutely advanced the extension of its media brands into multimedia and invested in fast-growing companies. The Henri Nannen Award was also called into being during Kundrun's time as CEO.

Bernd Buchholz underlined: "I am very pleased about the shareholders' confidence and am looking forward to my new assignment. Gruner + Jahr is an outstanding company with strong brands, and a trailblazer in its markets. Building on this foundation, the company is well equipped for current and future challenges."

Bernd Buchholz will simultaneously continue to head the ´Gruner + Jahr Germany´ division until further notice.

Bernd Buchholz, born in 1961, studied law and economics at the Freie Universität Berlin and passed his Erstes Juristisches Staatsexamen (First State Law Exam) in 1986. He served as an assistant professor at the Institute for Environmental, Business and Tax Offense Law at the University of Kiel until 1989. In 1990, he completed his legal doctoral degree (Dr. jur.), and in 1992 passed his Zweites Juristisches Staatsexamen (Second State Law Exam). From 1992 to 1996, he was a member of the Schleswig-Holstein Landtag (state parliament) and parliamentary managing director of the FDP Landtag faction.

Bernd Buchholz joined Gruner + Jahr as an assistant to the management in 1996. From 1998 to 1999, he served as managing director of Morgenpost Verlag GmbH. From January 2000, he served first as publishing director of STERN magazine, then, from July as executive publisher of the entire STERN/GEO group.

As a member of the Gruner + Jahr executive board and President of G+J Germany, Buchholz has been in charge of the publisher's entire brand business (print and online) since January 2004.

Bernd Buchholz is married and has two children.


Dr. Andreas Knaut
Executive Vice President
Corporate Communications
20444 Hamburg
Phone: +49-40-37-03-31-13
Telefax: +49-40-37-03-56-17

Bernd BuchholzBernd Kundrun