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Wilhelm Named to Head BOMC-Doubleday Venture
Jim Milliot -- 3/6/00

Markus Wilhelm, chairman and CEO of Doubleday Direct, has been named CEO of the newly formed book club created through the merger of Bertelsmann's Doubleday Direct subsidiary and Time Warner's Book-of-the-Month Club. Wilhelm's appointment was announced last week when the companies said that they had completed the deal that was announced late last year (News, Dec. 20, 1999). While George Artandi, head of BOMC, will remain with Time Inc., it was not clear at press time what role he will play in the joint operation.

The new club, which will dominate the book club market with sales estimated at more than $900 million, has not yet been given a name. "We've had about 2,000 suggestions," said BOMC spokesperson Malka Margolies. And while Wilhelm will be in charge of the day-to-day operations of the company, a board of directors and chairman are still to be appointed. The new company, which will be owned 50-50 by TW and Bertelsmann, will have approximately 3,000 employees and membership topping 8.5 million.

According to Margolies, six task forces have been created to help propel the integration of the two operations. The task forces are headed by three executives from both BOMC and Doubleday Direct and have been formed in the following six areas: e-commerce, editorial/marketing, finance, human resources, information systems and operations.

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