In a surprise move, international entertainment broadcasting group Modern Times Group has announced that its long-standing President and CEO Hans-Holger Albrecht is to leave the company. Albrecht will leave MTG in September to become President and CEO of Millicom International Cellular, the Nasdaq OMX listed global telecommunications group. He will be replaced by Jørgen Madsen.
Madsen has been a member of the Group’s executive management team since 2000 and was appointed as Executive Vice President of MTG’s Nordic Broadcasting operations in October 2011, after having served as CEO of the Group’s Danish operations and Group Head of Sport since 2002. He was also Chairman of the Board of TV Prima in the Czech Republic between January 2008 and October 2011, and was responsible for overseeing the Group’s Hungarian operations from 2010 to 2011. Madsen joined MTG, then a subsidiary of Investment AB Kinnevik (‘Kinnevik’), in 1994 and held various positions including Head of Sponsorship for TV3, Head of Viasat Sport in Denmark and Head of Viasat Sport for the Nordic region.
Albrecht has served as MTG President and CEO since August 2000, prior to which he was Chief Operating Officer of MTG from May 2000. He joined the Group in 1997 and held various positions including Head of the Group’s Pay-TV operations and then President of Viasat Broadcasting. Albrecht has been co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of CTC Media, of which MTG is the largest shareholder, since 2003 and will continue in this role. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Millicom, from which he will step down with immediate effect, and of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
David Chance, Chairman of MTG’s Board of Directors, said that Madsen had proven himself over many years at MTG to be an inspirational leader and excellent manager of a number of its operations, as well as a valued member of the Group’s senior management team. “He takes over at a key time in the Group’s development as MTG pioneers new broadcasting technologies and expands into new markets. Continuity is critical to the Group’s ongoing success, which is why succession planning is part and parcel of our daily work, and has enabled us to promote such a strong internal candidate into this role. The Board and I look forward to working with Jørgen going forward,” he declared.
He said he joined the Board in thanking Albrecht for his “huge” contribution to the development and expansion of MTG over the past almost 12 years, as one of the longest serving and most successful CEOs in the industry. “He has been instrumental in the Group’s rapid growth and the creation of an industry leading broadcaster with a unique geographical reach, balanced mix of pay and free-TV revenues, and strong financial position. Under his leadership, MTG’s sales have tripled since 2000 to SEK 13.5 billion (€1.6bn) in 2011, while the Group’s market capitalisation has increased to over SEK 21 billion with a low net debt level, and an additional SEK 7 billion has been distributed to shareholders in the form of equity or cash dividends and share buy-backs. Hans-Holger has not only managed the business through considerable change, but also created a lot of that change through a clear and accurate vision of the Group’s future potential. We wish him well at Millicom,” he said.
Madsen described MTG as “a great company with a strong culture and tradition of constant innovation,” adding that its channels were now available in 36 countries spanning four continents, “which is quite a platform on which to build, as we focus on further enhancing our content offering, embracing new technologies, and expanding into new markets.”
Albrecht said MTG had benefited from setting a clear course with long term goals and had remained true to that, which has enabled it consistently to outperform and create sustainable value. “I am proud of what we have achieved as a team and of the building blocks we have put in place. MTG is a fantastic business and I wish the Group and all of my colleagues the very best for the future,” he stated.