Managing Talent at Bertelsmann AG (A)   - CLEO Skip to main content


Bertelsmann’s EVP HR Immanuel Hermreck and his team were focused on four key HR issues. Three of these were somewhat discreet: improving Bertelsmann’s employer brand; managing Bertelsmann talent across the firm’s decentralized businesses; and ensuring early identification and appropriate development of Bertelsmann’s top 100 high potential managers (hi-pos) to better seed the company’s future top management. The fourth issue-recruitment and retention-played an integral role across all three challenges and had to be strengthened and made consistent across the firm, not an easy prospect given Bertelsmann’s highly decentralized structure. Hermreck knew navigating these issues would pose significant challenges, but getting them right was critical to Bertelsmann’s competitive advantage and survival as a robust media company. He had some good results in from his early efforts, but as he looked forward, what should his action plan set out to do?