Mathias Döpfner

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Person.png Mathias Döpfner   SourcewatchRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(editor, media mogul, billionaire)
Mathias Döpfner.jpg
BornJanuary 15, 1963
Alma materBerklee College of Music
Member ofArthur F. Burns Fellowship/Trustees, Aspen Institute Germany, Atlantik-Brücke, Blavatnik School of Government/Staff and Advisory Council, Institute for Strategic Dialogue, The American Academy in Berlin, WEF/Global Leaders for Tomorrow/2001
CEO of mightiest media group in Germany and Europe, Axel Springer SE, member of the Bilderberg Steering Committee and other transatlantic networks, most notably Atlantik-Brücke. Became billionaire after receiving gift from elderly widow.

Mathias Döpfner is Chief Executive Officer of largest media group in Germany and Europe, Axel Springer SE, and a member of the Bilderberg Steering Committee. He is a senior member of several other transatlantic networks.

After being gifted her stake in the business from Friede Springer, elderly widow of media tycoon Axel, Döpfner became a billionaire.[1]

Döpfner once stated: "I am a non-Jewish Zionist",[2] which is entirely in line with the Axel Springer corporate media philosophy, which in writing demands support for the United States and Israel.

Düzen Tekkal, Friede Springer, Mathias Döpfner, Kai Diekmann and Julian Reichelt on the roof of the US embassy in Berlin (2019)


Döpfner began his career in 1982 as the music critic of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung supplement. After working as the FAZ correspondent in Brussels, Döpfner moved to Gruner + Jahr in 1992 – initially employed by board member Axel Ganz in Paris, later as assistant to the CEO Gerd Schulte-Hillen.

In April 1994, Döpfner became editor-in-chief of the Berlin weekly newspaper Wochenpost. In 1996 he took over the post of editor-in-chief of the Hamburg tabloid Hamburger Morgenpost.

In March 1998, Döpfner became editor-in-chief of Axel Springer SE's national daily newspaper Die Welt. Under his leadership, the content and visual appearance of the paper was fundamentally revised. On February 26, 2008, Axel Springer announced that the Welt Group had generated a profit for the first time.[3]

Döpfner became a member of the management board of Axel Springer SE and head of the newspaper division in 2000. He became CEO in 2002. A defining characteristic of his leadership continues to be a rigorous focus on digital transformation. Since the start of his tenure as CEO, revenues from digital activities increased from €117m to €2.5bn.

In 2020, Friede Springer designated Döpfner as her successor as she gifted, sold and transferred the right to vote her stake in the business to him. Under the arrangement, she sold a 4.1% stake to Döpfner and gifted 15% more, bringing his direct stake to 22%. She also transferred voting rights her remaining 22% in the business.[4]

Board Positions and Memberships

Mathias Döpfner was a member of the supervisory board of the pharmaceutical company Schering from 2001 to 2006. From July 2006 to June 2018 he was a member of the supervisory board of the US media group Time Warner, and from April 2015 to July he was a director of the Vodafone Group Public Limited Company. Since May 2014 he has been a member of the Board of Directors of Warner Music, since September 2018 a member of the Board of Directors of Netflix.

Since July 2016 Döpfner has been President of the Federal Association of German Newspaper Publishers (BDZV). His mandates in non-profit organizations include membership in the supervisory bodies of the European Publishers Council (EPC), the American Academy in Berlin, the Blavatnik School of Government in Oxford and the American Jewish Committee.

He was a member of the board of trustees of the Berlin Aspen Institute, he is also a regular participant of the Sun Valley Conference, the World Economic Forum in Davos, has been a participant since 2007 and has been a member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Conference since 2018[5]. He is a member of the board of trustees of the International Journalists Program (IJP) e.V.[6] and since 2018 Chairman of the TOA Open Circle[7].

Döpfner was also a member of the board of directors of Ripplewood Holdings (RHJI). In July 2009, independent media made a connection between Döpfner's commitment to the financial investor fighting for car maker Opel and the positive reports on this in some of the Springer Group's media.[8] Döpfner's personal connections to RHJI and the Springer media coverage was not discussed..[9]


Events Participated in

Bilderberg/20055 May 20058 May 2005Germany
The 53rd Bilderberg, 132 guests
Bilderberg/20068 June 200611 June 2006Canada
54th Bilderberg, held in Canada. 133 guests
Bilderberg/200731 May 20073 June 2007Turkey
The 55th Bilderberg meeting, held in Turkey
Bilderberg/201429 May 20141 June 2014Denmark
Marriott Hotel
The 62nd Bilderberg, with 136 guests, held in Copenhagen
Bilderberg/201511 June 201514 June 2015Austria
The 63rd meeting, 128 Bilderbergers met in Austria
Bilderberg/20169 June 201612 June 2016Germany
The 2016 Bilderberg meeting took place in Dresden, Germany.
Bilderberg/20171 June 20174 June 2017US
The 65th Bilderberg Meeting
Bilderberg/20187 June 201810 June 2018Italy
Hotel Torino Lingotto Congress
The 66th Bilderberg Meeting, in Turin, Italy, known for months in advance after an unprecedented leak by the Serbian government.
Bilderberg/201930 May 20192 June 2019Switzerland
The 67th Bilderberg Meeting
Bilderberg/20222 June 20225 June 2022US
Washington DC
Mandarin Oriental Hotel
The 68th Bilderberg Meeting, held in Washington DC, after an unprecedented two year hiatus during which a lot of the Bilderberg regulars were busy managing COVID-19
Bilderberg/202318 May 202321 May 2023Portugal
Pestana Palace Hotel
The 69th Bilderberg Meeting, held in Lisbon, with 128 guests on the official list. The earliest in the year since 2009.
Munich Security Conference/201915 February 201917 February 2019Germany
The 55th Munich Security Conference, which included "A Spreading Plague" aimed at "identifying gaps and making recommendations to improve the global system for responding to deliberate, high consequence biological events."
Munich Security Conference/202218 February 202220 February 2022Germany
Munich Security Conference/202416 February 202418 February 2024Germany
Annual conference of mid-level functionaries from the military-industrial complex - politicians, propagandists and lobbyists - in their own bubble, far from the concerns of their subjects
WEF/Annual Meeting/200625 January 200629 January 2006World Economic Forum
Both former US president Bill Clinton and Bill Gates pushed for public-private partnerships. Only a few of the over 2000 participants are known.
WEF/Annual Meeting/200724 January 200728 January 2007World Economic Forum
Only the 449 public figures listed of ~2200 participants
WEF/Annual Meeting/200923 January 200927 January 2009World Economic Forum
Chairman Klaus Schwab outlined five objectives driving the Forum’s efforts to shape the global agenda, including letting the banks that caused the 2008 economic crisis keep writing the rules, the climate change agenda, over-national government structures, taking control over businesses with the stakeholder agenda, and a "new charter for the global economic order".
WEF/Annual Meeting/201126 January 201130 January 2011World Economic Forum
2230 guests in Davos, with the theme: "Shared Norms for the New Reality".
WEF/Annual Meeting/201225 January 201229 January 2012World Economic Forum
2113 guests in Davos
WEF/Annual Meeting/201717 January 201720 January 2017World Economic Forum
2950 known participants, including prominently Bill Gates. "Offers a platform for the most effective and engaged leaders to achieve common goals for greater societal leadership."
WEF/Annual Meeting/201922 January 201925 January 2019World Economic Forum
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