Changeover at the Board of Directors: Bernd Hoffmann to become the new CEO of virtual minds – Andreas Kleiser moves to the Supervisory Board
Freiburg, 30. August 2018. Change at the top of virtual minds AG: After 18 years in executive management, Andreas Kleiser, founder and previous speaker of the Board at virtual minds AG, will surrender his mandate on the Board of Directors to Bernd Hoffmann effective 01 January 2019 and move to the Supervisory Board of the Freiburg-based technology holding company. Hoffmann will already join the Board of Directors of virtual minds as of 01 September 2018 and successively assume the responsibilities of Andreas Kleiser until the end of the year.
Andreas Kleiser (39) founded the virtual minds AG in Freiburg in 2001. In the course of additional company start-ups, participations and acquisitions such as myLoc Managed IT AG, ADITION, Yieldlab, Active Agent, The ADEX and AdClear, he consistently focused the holding company on the business segments of digital media technology and data centre infrastructure. In the adtech segment, he successfully established virtual minds as the strongest German and European competitor of US players such as Google, Amazon and Facebook. With its platforms and solutions, the companies of the virtual minds group represent the leading European full-stack offer for the digital advertising market today. He secured further, especially international, growth opportunities for the company group through bringing on board the strategic investors United Internet in 2008 and ProSiebenSat.1 in 2015.
“Since its founding, but especially in recent years, virtual minds has been a unique success story with regard to digital advertising technology made in Germany and Europe,” Andreas Kleiser, CEO of the virtual minds group, explains. “With our technology offers and solutions, we are a player in the international adtech champions’ league today. I am very proud that I had the opportunity to contribute to this growth and success together with my colleagues of the Board and the entire team, which in part has accompanied me for many years. We are also perfectly equipped for the future and our continued growth – we have made technological, personnel and financial provisions and taken decisive steps for this purpose. Anyone who knows me knows that I am an entrepreneur at heart and love to be close to the product and the team. This is why now is a good time ‒ after 18 years at the helm of virtual minds ‒ to hand over the operative responsibility to Bernd Hoffman. Bernd is a first-class media and digital expert and an outstanding manager whom I also greatly appreciate personally. I am very happy that he accepted this new challenge and I am sure that he will successfully lead the company into the future together with his colleagues on the Board of Directors of virtual minds.”
In the person of Bernd Hoffmann (54), a high-calibre digital and marketing expert takes the helm of the virtual minds group. The previous Managing Director of Advertising Platform Solutions at ProSiebenSat.1 Media is among the top managers in the German media business with his 25 years of professional experience in executive positions. The native of Bielefeld started his professional career in product management at ProSieben Media AG in 1994. Following stints at LetsBuyIt.com (Head of Media), Kirch New Media AG (General Manager Vertical Games) and Mindmatics (Director New Business), Hoffmann switched to the agency side as Managing Director of the MediaCom subsidiary Beyond Interactive and GroupM (WPP advertising holding) in 2005. In 2007, he assumed the responsibility for the entire digital business of Germany’s largest media agency as the Managing Director of GroupM Interaction, where, among other things, he drove the development and international rollout of Xaxis and the acquisition of agencies such as Quisma. As the CEO of GroupM Connect and Managing Director of Quisma, he subsequently pushed ahead the expansion of the programmatic agency business. Before his return to ProSiebenSat.1 at the beginning of 2018, Hoffmann most recently managed the sales and consultancy segment of the “M-platforms” and oversaw the support of GroupM’s agency clients as the CCO of GroupM.
“Sir Martin Sorrell once said about his own business: ‘I believe in eating your own children’. I think this is exactly what makes up the dynamics of the digital business. virtual minds has internalised this attitude for years, created and dismissed many ideas, changed continuously and grew immensely at the same time. Exactly this attitude, which also all employees of the virtual minds companies stand for, is what inspired me to choose virtual minds and assume a new and exciting responsibility here. Continuing the overall entrepreneurial work and vision of Andreas Kleiser for the virtual minds group and for an independent European adtech offer, as well as being actively involved in creating the technical ecosystem of the digital media landscape with partners such as the ProSiebenSat.1 Media Group and United Internet, is simply something that I would not want to miss,” says Bernd Hoffmann. “I am enormously looking forward to now taking the next steps with virtual minds here.”
About virtual minds AG
The virtual minds AG (Freiburg, Germany), founded in 2001, is a technology holding that unites specialised companies from the areas of digital & media technologies and hosting under its umbrella. Each of these companies has been among the European top players in their respective segment for years, jointly forming the leading European full-stack ad tech offering for the digital advertising market. Clients of the virtual minds companies include leading German publishing and TV content marketers, international agency groups and many top advertisers. The ProSiebenSat.1 Group and United Internet AG are strategic investors of the virtual minds AG, respectively holding 74.9 and 25.1 percent.