Seifert’s successor clarified: Donata Hopfen becomes the new head of the DFL

Seifert’s succession clarified
Donata Hopfen becomes the new head of the DFL

While the DFB still has to advise on women in top positions, the German Football League is already acting: Donata Hopfen will take over the management of the DFL from Christian Seifert on January 1, 2022. It goes a little earlier – but not immediately.

The German Football League (DFL) has settled the successor to the outgoing managing director Christian Seifert and is for the first time relying on a woman at the top. Donata Hopfen will already be the chairman of the management board on January 1, 2022, and will initially be given a three-year contract. The DFL announced. Seifert is leaving six months earlier than planned.

“Donata Hopfen is the right person for one of the most important positions in German football,” said Chairman of the Supervisory Board Peter Peters: “In a time of change, she has all the qualities and great assertiveness to win the DFL in the interests of the Bundesliga and 2. Leading the Bundesliga into a continued successful future. ” While the German Football Association (DFB) is being discussed at least about women in leadership after the departure of President Fritz Keller, the DFL is already “daring”. A big step with a role model in German football.

“I would like to thank you for your trust. German professional football has a long tradition and is deeply anchored in society. Like the DFL, the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 enjoy an excellent reputation worldwide,” said Hopfen. It is important to preserve all of this “also against the background of technological, social and media changes in the field of football – and at the same time to innovate further.”

Seifert, managing director and spokesman for the presidium, announced last October that he did not want to extend his contract, which expired at the end of June 2022. He has been successfully managing the fortunes of the DFL since 2005. The six-member supervisory board around DFB interim president Peters wanted to have clarity on the important personnel issue by mid-August at the latest – the decision was announced on time.

Seifert massively increased income from marketing

The supervisory board wants to decide together with the new boss about the “implementation of the planned expansion of the DFL management”. Hopfen is still managing director and partner at BCG Digital Ventures, a company of the Boston Consulting Group. The Supervisory Board agreed with Seifert to terminate the contract early at the end of the year. If necessary, he will initially still be available to the new management in an advisory capacity.

Hopfen started her career at the management consultancy Accenture. This was followed by 14 years at Axel Springer, most recently the “Media Woman of the Year” in Germany in 2014 as chairwoman of the publishing management of the Bild Group. In the meantime she worked as managing director at Verimi, a digital joint project of large German companies.

Seifert leaves deep footsteps. The DFL boss, previously chief executive of KarstadtQuelle New Media AG, was primarily responsible for great success in marketing. He increased the media income of 400 million euros per season to now well over a billion. Seifert also had to struggle with the economic consequences of the corona pandemic, but he still managed to make a global profile as a crisis manager. He wanted to “open a new professional chapter,” said Seifert when he announced his departure. It is still open where his path will lead.