Effective January 1, 2015, the Board-level human resources function was established. Immanuel Hermreck was appointed to the Bertelsmann Executive Board with responsibility for this area.
In April 2015, Bertelsmann placed two hybrid bonds with a total volume of €1.25 billion. Both subordinated bonds, each with a term of 60 years and with initial redemption options of eight and twelve years, respectively, increase the financial flexibility of Bertelsmann in view of the Group’s ongoing strategic transformation. In November 2015, Bertelsmann issued a unilateral waiver in respect of the exercise of a specific extraordinary right of termination.
On May 5, 2015, the General Meeting of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA elected Gigi Levy-Weiss to the company’s Supervisory Board. Hartmut Ostrowski and Lars Rebien Sørensen left the Board.
On July 9, 2015, the Bertelsmann Supervisory Board appointed Fernando Carro de Prada to the Bertelsmann Executive Board as CEO of Arvato. He succeeded Achim Berg, who left the Bertelsmann Executive Board. The appointment is related to the further development of the Arvato division. Streamlining the management structures and tightening up the decisionmaking and reporting processes strengthen entrepreneurial independence and operational agility.
In November 2015, Bertelsmann invested further in the expansion of its education activities and significantly increased its investment in the innovative online learning provider Udacity.
In December 2015, Bertelsmann expanded the strategic growth area of education and invested in the online education platform HotChalk. With a total transaction volume of €179 million, Bertelsmann is the largest shareholder.
On December 18, 2015, Bertelsmann took over the remaining 25.1 percent of printing group Prinovis from former co-partner Axel Springer. The full takeover of the company is intended to simplify the corporate structures.