The Bertelsmann Stiftung Board of Trustees has appointed Dr. rer. pol. Ralph Heck (62) as the foundation’s new CEO and chairman of the Executive Board, effective August 1, 2020. He has been a member of the foundation’s Board of Trustees since 2012. In keeping with the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s bylaws, he will leave the Board of Trustees when he assumes his new position.
After eight years, current chairman and CEO Aart De Geus (64) will be stepping down early at his own request at the end of 2019 to return to the Netherlands, his native country, where he will take on new responsibilities in the foundation sector. The Executive Board’s three other members, Liz Mohn, Dr. Brigitte Mohn and Dr. Jörg Dräger, will temporarily lead the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s activities until Heck assumes his new role.
Heck studied industrial engineering at the University of Karlsruhe before earning a doctorate in economics. After a long and successful career as a consultant and senior partner at McKinsey & Company, he has been responsible in recent years for his own portfolio of companies and has served on Supervisory and Advisory Boards, among other activities. He has extensive experience in a wide range of sectors and has often worked as a consultant abroad.
Originally from the German-speaking region of Belgium (Eupen), the committed European has an extensive network of contacts among international business and civil society organizations. He has focused on the topics of leadership, organizational issues and behavior management and views entrepreneurship as a social responsibility.
"Those values are the hallmarks of our project work and our culture," says Liz Mohn, vice-chairwoman of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Board of Trustees. "Ralph Heck will be able to contribute his knowledge, expertise and experience to further developing the foundation’s areas of activity. We must learn from the world."
"By appointing Ralph Heck as new CEO and chairman of the Executive Board, the Board of Trustees has chosen a global citizen with considerable strategic vision," says Professor Dr. Werner J. Bauer, chairman of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Board of Trustees. "He has a profound understanding of business issues, organizational behavior and leadership culture. He is already very familiar with the foundation given his many years on the Board of Trustees. I am confident he will make a valuable contribution to the foundation’s successful ongoing development."
The Board of Trustees and the Executive Board would like to thank Aart De Geus for his dedication and their successful partnership: "Aart De Geus has made an invaluable contribution to the further development of the foundation’s work and its internationalization. We wish him much success in the future, both personally and professionally."