March 26, 2020 / 10:26 PM / 7 days ago

German broadcaster ProSieben's CEO steps down

March 26 (Reuters) - German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media said on Thursday Chief Executive Officer Max Conze had left the company with immediate effect.

The news comes days after Italy’s top commercial broadcaster Mediaset SpA increased its stake in ProSieben to just under 20% in a bid that could help it create a pan-European TV platform.

Conze, ProSieben’s CEO since mid-2018, has come under increasing pressure to turn around the struggling business, and showed little enthusiasm for a closer tie-up with Mediaset, a firm controlled by the family of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The company did not name an interim CEO in its statement.

Conze is the latest to join the exodus of several top executives leaving ProSieben after Deputy CEO Conrad Albert exited his position earlier in the month after slamming what he called a “boardroom soap opera” at the German broadcaster.

The company also said that Chief Financial Officer Rainer Beaujean will take up the position of chairman of the executive board as an added responsibility.

German media had speculated that Mediaset could team up with Czech investor Daniel Kretinsky, who controls a 10% stake in ProSieben, to oust supervisory board chairman Werner Brandt and Conze. (Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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