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Prof. Gunter Thielen

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Bertelsmann Stiftung

Headshot of Dr. Gunter Thielen.

Gunter Thielen was born on August 4, 1942, in Germany's Saarland region. He studied mechanical engineering and economics at RWTH Aachen University. After earning a doctorate in engineering, he worked in a variety of executive positions at BASF before becoming technical director of the Wintershall refinery in Kassel.

Thielen has worked for Bertelsmann since 1980. He was appointed to the Bertelsmann AG Executive board in 1985, while serving as director of the company's Printing and Manufacturing Division, now arvato AG. In July 2002, the Bertelsmann AG Supervisory Board appointed Thielen, then 60, chair of the Executive Board, and he continued to lead the company until 2008.

Since January 1, 2008, he has been chairman and CEO of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, primarily responsible for projects addressing economic issues and for the foundation’s international strategy.

In November 2011, he was made a professor by the University of Witten/Herdecke.


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