Bertlesmann: Before, during and after Middelhoff|Business Strategy|Case Study|Case Studies

Bertlesmann: Before, during and after Middelhoff

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : BSTR061 Electronic Format: Rs. 500;
Courier (within India):Rs. 25 Extra
Business Strategy | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Business Strategy, Case Studies
Case Length : 18 Pages
Period : 1994 - 2003
Organization : Bertlesmann
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note : Not Available
Countries : Europe
Industry : Media and Entertainment


The case examines how the German media group, Bertelsmann, emerged as a leading global media conglomerate. The role played by the leadership of Reinhard Mohn and the company's corporate culture in its growth has been studied. Bertelsmann's Internet initiatives between the late 1990s and 2002, under the leadership of CEO Middelhoff, have also been examined. The various problems faced by the company during the early 2000s on account of the failure of its Internet initiatives, changes in the corporate culture, and clashes between Middelhoff and the founding family over strategic issues are described. The case discusses the changes that took place with the appointment of a new CEO in mid-2002. It also examines the results of these changes and the future prospects of the company in light of continuing clashes between the founding family and the executive Committee.


Appreciate the evolution of a small company, over the decades, into a leading player in the global media industry

Understand the role played by the founding family in establishing a company's core values, corporate culture and strategy for growth and success


  Page No.
End of an Era 1
Background Note - Building Bertelsmann 2
The Middlehoff Era - Changing Strategies 4
The Middelhoff Era - Problems & Internal Clashes 8
Bertelsmann After Middelhoff - Back to Basics 11
Moving Towards the Future 12
Exhibits 15


German media group, Bertelsmann, leading global media, conglomerate, leadership, Reinhard Mohn, company, Internet, 1990, 2002, CEO, Middelhoff, 2000,corporate culture, clashes, Middelhoff, founding family, strategic issues, CEO, future prospects, executive Committee

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