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BeCG Chief Andreas Schmidt Changes Tune, Exits Bertelsmann

28 Nov, 2001 By: Hive News


DirectGroup Bertelsmann announced Wednesday that the Bertelsmann eCommerce Group (BeCG) activities will be assumed by the DirectGroup's U.S. business unit by Dec, 31, 2001, according to a company press release.

The newly formed business unit, BeMusic, including record club leader BMG Music Service, online music dealer CDNoW and digital music locker service, myplay, will be will be focal point of the parent company's online/offline music distribution strategyin the U.S. The strategic alliance with Napster Inc. will continue to be managed by DirectGroup Bertelsmann, the company said.

Andreas Schmidt, president and c.e.o. of BeCG, said he isleaving the company to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities. Klaus Eierhoff, c.e.o. of DirectGroup Bertelsmann said in a press statement, "Andreas Schmidt has made an essential contribution to the development of digitaldistribution with his ideas and initiatives. He has played a major role inmaking Bertelsmann the internationally leading enterprise in digital musicdistribution today. This is a tremendous achievement for which we are thankful."

Thomas Middelhoff, chairman and c.e.o. of Bertelsmann said, "Andreas Schmidthas expanded the position of Bertelsmann in the international e-commercebusiness with his creativity and commitment. And for that we are grateful."

Schmidt began his career at Bertelsmann in 1994. In 1998, he became president and c.e.o. of AOL Europe. Since June 2000, he was the Bertelsmann DirectGroup divisional board member in charge of BeCG. During his tenure, acquisitions included CDNoW, myplay, and accomplishments included the integration of BMG Direct, the second-largest U.S. music club, into the DirectGroup, as well as the strategic alliance with Napster.

Stuart Goldfarb has been named the new president and c.e.o. of the BeMusic business unit. Before joining BeMusic, Goldfarb had been president and c.e.o. of BOLInternational since November 2000. He was responsible forthe integration of BOL and the Club businesses in Europe and Asia. Prior to BOL, he was vice chairman of ValueVision and an executive v.p. of the U.S. television network NBC.

BeMusic plans to oversee the launch of the integrated BeMusic service in 2002.


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