Berlin, 19 October 2021 (dpa/MIA) – Germany‘s Axel Springer media group has removed Julian Reichelt from his role as editor-in-chief of Bild, Germany‘s biggest-selling newspaper, according to a statement released by the company on Monday.
The announcement comes after the Sunday publication of a New York Times investigation into the corporate culture at Axel Springer and the conduct of Reichelt in particular.
The report dug up allegations of inappropriate workplace conduct by Reichelt for which he had been internally investigated in the past and ultimately cleared, but it also uncovered fresh allegations, including an affair with a trainee and financial impropriety.
“As a result of investigations by the press, the company has gained new knowledge about Julian Reichelt’s conduct in recent days. The company has followed up on this information,” the statement said.
“In the process, the board has learned that Julian Reichelt did not clearly separate his private and professional lives even after the conclusion of the compliance procedure in spring 2021, and that he deceived the board on this matter.”
After examining the claims of abuse of authority and the exploitation of subordinates in an internal procedure, Springer came to the conclusion that Reichelt, 41, should nevertheless keep his post. After a temporary leave of absence, Reichelt returned to Germany‘s top media job.
The Times’ interest in the Axel Springer media group likely stems from its recent purchase of the Politico media group and Springer’s stated intention to grow its business in the US.
Springer CEO Mathias Doepfner said on Monday: “Julian Reichelt developed Bild in an outstanding journalistic way and made the brand fit for the future,” adding that though Springer would have liked to continue the relationship, that was “now no longer possible.”