BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch to Step Down At 2023’s End — CFO Thomas Coesfeld Tapped As Replacement

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BMG CFO Thomas Coesfeld (pictured) is expected to begin as CEO in 2024. Photo Credit: Julia Schoierer

BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch is officially set to step down at 2023’s end, and the Berlin-headquartered company has tapped Thomas Coesfeld to serve as his replacement.

The Bertelsmann subsidiary formally announced the C-suite shakeup, which follows an early 2021 “streamlined restructuring,” this morning. Hartwig Masuch has been CEO of the new BMG since its inception almost 15 years ago, and after exiting the role, the 68-year-old is expected to “remain associated with Bertelsmann in an advisory capacity,” higher-ups said.

Thomas Coesfeld, for his part, has worked for various Bertelsmann divisions since 2016 and started as BMG’s CFO in April of 2021. Upon succeeding Masuch on January 1st, 2024, Coesfeld will also take a seat on Bertelsmann’s Group Management Committee, which advises the conglomerate’s executive board.

Addressing his BMG departure in a statement, Masuch – whose company continues to acquire song rights and ink deals with well-known acts – said: “After 32 years at Bertelsmann and more than 14 years at BMG, now is the right time for me to hand over the reins to a new generation. I am convinced that the company will be in the best hands with Thomas Coesfeld and BMG’s outstanding, highly motivated global leadership team.

“As our annual results will show, the company is in excellent shape both creatively and financially. I look forward to a seamless transition by the end of the year. I am sure that under Thomas’ leadership, BMG’s core values of service, fairness and transparency will continue to evolve and flourish, leading the company to even greater success,” concluded Masuch.

In remarks of his own, Coesfeld emphasized plans “to leverage the enormous creative and entrepreneurial potential of the music industry for Bertelsmann” once he’s at the helm. BMG turned in a more than 25 percent year-over-year revenue jump during 2022’s opening half, per an earnings report from Bertelsmann, generating €371 million across the six-month stretch.

Besides the aforementioned music-IP acquisitions – including agreements with John Legend and Peter Frampton – BMG in 2022 built upon an existing expansion by opening a new office in Mexico as well as an LA creative complex. Additionally, the company last year finalized a Pinterest tie-up, launched a label to target “resurgent established artists,” purchased Telamo, and released albums including Nickelback’s Get Rollin’.

In other executive-level shifts, former YouTube chief business officer Robert Kyncl will replace Stephen Cooper to become Warner Music Group’s lone CEO this coming Wednesday, February 1st. Today, the Big Three label revealed plans to roll out Rhythm City, its “first persistent music experience on Roblox.”