GÜTERSLOH, Germany: Bertelsmann, Europe's largest media conglomerate, last week announced the appointment of a new ceo - existing board member Hartmut Ostrowski (49), who will take over from incumbent Gunter Thielen (64) when the latter transcends to the group's chair at the end of 2007.

Both men are said to be close associates of group matriarch Liz Mohn - the second wife of Bertelesmann founder Reinhard Mohn - who is said to be slowly but remorselessly increasing her hold on the company.

"Ostrowski will cement Thielen's strategy of turning Bertelsmann back into a solid German company with international bits, like RTL [television] in Europe and Random House [books] in the USA," an insider told the Financial Times.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff