Ex-Sky Deutschland chief Schmidt to be Hertha Berlin CEO

Carsten Schmidt, the former chief executive of German pay-television broadcaster Sky Deutschland, has been named as the chief executive of German Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin.

The 56-year-old, who remains a senior adviser to Sky, will take up the position on December 1.

Announcing his arrival, Hertha Berlin said that, in addition to his overarching responsibilities as managing director, Schmidt will be directly responsible for the areas of marketing, sales, strategy, corporate communication and internationalisation.

Schmidt’s advisory contract with Sky has been terminated prematurely to allow him to assume the role.

Michael Preetz and Ingo Schiller, Hertha’s long-standing managing directors in charge of sport and finance respectively, will retain their positions as Schmidt joins the management team.

Schmidt was replaced as Sky chief executive at the end of last year by Devesh Raj, a former executive at Comcast, the US-based media giant that took over the German pay-TV broadcaster in 2018.

Schmidt had been with Sky for more than two decades and previously led the broadcaster’s sports department. He became chief executive of Sky Deutschland in June 2015, replacing American Brian Sullivan.

From 2006 to 2015, he held the role of chief officer sports, advertising sales and internet. He was also managing director of programming at Sky’s Austrian arm. Schmidt joined Sky Deutschland (then Premiere) in 1999 as head of sport, leaving his position as managing director at German sports production company Wige Media.

Schmidt said: “I am going to keep this short: I’m really looking forward to my new position as CEO in Berlin, my new colleagues and the entire Hertha BSC football family!”

Hertha president Werner Gegenbauer said that it was the club’s goal to “meet the growing demands of a Bundesliga club as a commercial enterprise over the past few years and to expand the management team”.