BERLIN, Oct 18 (AFP) – The powerful editor-in-chief of Germany’s best-selling newspaper has been sacked after exposing misconduct, publishing company Axel Springer SE reported Monday. The company said in a statement that Julian Reichelt had been sacked as head of Bild newspaper with immediate effect. The 41-year-old was suspended earlier this year as part of a company-ordered investigation into his management style, but was later reinstated.
Axel Springer said he obtained new information about Rachelt’s current behavior as a result of press reports that followed him, and revealed that he failed to clearly separate personal and private matters even after being asked to do so following an internal investigation. The company added that Richelt also lied to the board of directors about the matter.
Axel Springer said it would appoint Johannes Boe, 37, as the new head of Bild’s three-member editorial board. The announcement came after it emerged over the weekend that journalists at a rival German media group were investigating allegations against Reichlt but were prevented from publishing their findings.
In a letter dated Friday, four senior reporters at Eben media group accused their company and publisher, Dirk Eben, of breach of trust for deciding to discontinue the report, which took months to prepare and was due to be published on Sunday. . Eben media group said it canceled the story “to avoid the impression that we might want to do economic damage to a competitor”. It denied there was any pressure from Axel Springer executives on the matter.
Reichelt, one of the most powerful figures in German media, was briefly suspended earlier this year amid an investigation into allegations that included bullying and abuse of his position of power towards female employees. He was later reinstated after the company said his actions did not warrant dismissal. While Eben retracted his story, the New York Times published a report on Sunday containing new details from the internal investigation into Reichelt’s alleged relationship with an intern.
Axel Springer said in his statement that the internal investigation, which was run by an independent law firm, never included allegations of sexual harassment or abuse against Reichelt, but rather centered on consensual romantic relationships with Bild employees and evidence of abuse of power in relation to these. The company said a decision was made at the time to give Reichelt a second chance.
It added that in the context of the latest media report, the company obtained further evidence of ongoing misconduct by Julian Richelt. That is why the Board of Directors now considers the termination of Reichelt’s role inevitable. It has separately announced legal steps against third parties for publishing confidential business information and private communications with the aim of attempting to harm the company and to remove Reichelt.
Axel Springer has successfully expanded its business in the United States in recent years. The business-oriented online media company owns Insider and Morning Brew, and in August it announced a deal to buy US-based political news company Politico and technology news site Protocol Protocol. (AFP).
Disclaimer: This post was automatically published from the agency feed without any text modifications and has not been reviewed by an editor