Interim CEO and CDO for digital transformation of B2B publishing and media group

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    Interim CEO and CDO for digital transformation of B2B publishing and media group

Our customer

Portfolio company of private equity fund


Medium-sized B2B publishing and media group

Our role

  • Interim Chief Executive Officer
  • Interim Chief Digital Officer
  • Interim Sales Director


Christof Wahl, Michael Hengstmann, Ralph Schwehr, Dr. Jürgen Wolf


  • Short-term leadership vacuum for CDO, CEO and Sales Director positions
  • Ongoing exit process by private equity owner for some of the media groups’ subsidiaries and assets
  • Number one or two market leadership positions, but deteriorating sales development in traditional print advertisement and subscription business
  • Loss-making business units and subsidiaries without any significant synergies with core media business
  • Lack of customer orientation and rather passive approach in sales
  • Resistance of some senior management team members against both change and digital transformation
  • Sudden order cancellations, dramatic loss of revenues and customer insolvencies in some industries caused by Cornona pandemic


  • Assumption of interim roles as Chief Executive Officer, Chief Digital Officer and Sales Director
  • Development and execution of new digital strategy for profitable top line growth in disruptive market environment
  • Development of operational transformation plan for cost efficiency improvement and proactive sales approach
  • Set-up of program office for sales, digitalization, content management, cost savings, purchasing
  • Hands-on execution of strategic and operational projects
  • Constant communication with all employees and monitoring of change initiatives with scoring cards
  • Screening of market for strategic corporation partners for additional digital content
  • Set-up of data room for non-core business unit and development of liquidation plan for closing down unprofitable and unsustainable business of subsidiary
  • Later set-up of Corona task force

Selected results

  • Establishment of new leadership team
  • Carve-out and successful sale of non-core business unit to strategic buyer
  • Close-down of unprofitable subsidiary
  • Successful migration of business model and content of loss-making B2B print magazine in subscription-based database application
  • Carve-out, acquisition and integration of leading B2B streaming platform from industrial conglomerate to strengthen digital business model
  • Strategic and exclusive cooperation with start-up company and integration of digital content in subscription-based database application
  • Reduced HR costs, elimination of management layer, improved processes and savings for indirect and direct costs
  • Increased sales of inhouse online shop by 66%
  • Increase of conversion rate by 46% and reduction of churn rate by 79%
  • Relaunch of digital database model, launch of social media activities resulting in 90,000 digital subscribers and 350.000 followers
  • Increase of digital revenues by 9% and growth of overall subscription revenues after years of decline
  • Successful launch of new digital solution for advertisement customers in industry
  • Growth of sales in relaunched business unit by 74% and increase of market share from 5% to 13% within one year
  • Execution of program to deal with Corona crisis by introducing of short labor regime and refinancing of balance sheet with new state-guaranteed loan facility

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Interim CEO and CDO for digital transformation of B2B publishing and media group

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