Joel Klein Joins Bertelsmann

Help wanted: Chairman, CEO, and chief U.S. liaison officer for corporate-services arm of major global multimedia conglomerate. Must have experience in legal and regulatory areas and working knowledge of global competition policy. Applicants skilled in bringing billion-dollar companies to their knees encouraged.

That job description is a perfect fit for Joel Klein, who Bertelsmann AG said Wednesday is the new head of Bertelsmann Inc., the corporate services arm of the third-largest media company in the world. And yes, this is the same Joel Klein who had Bill Gates on the hot seat during the Microsoft antitrust case that has dominated business headlines for the past three years.

Klein had worked for the Clinton administration since 1993 as head of the antitrust division of the Department of Justice. In his new job, he will oversee the U.S. leg of Bertelsmann, advising the corporation on legal and strategic government matters and acting as adviser to Bertelsmann AG CEO Thomas Middelhoff, particularly when it comes to major acquisitions.

Working with the heads of Bertelsmann's U.S.-based corporations, Klein is expected to keep everyone in sync with legal and governmental issues and regulations and will give input on venture-capital deals. He's also going to continue developing the company's plans for E-commerce digitization and Internet-based file-sharing systems. - Eileen Colkin

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