New management structure for De Persgroep must strengthen collaboration between Belgium and the Netherlands.

De Persgroep is changing its management structure and is setting up a Belgium-Netherlands organisation to ensure closer collaboration between both countries. The media company is doing this to accelerate digital transformation. The new BENE organisation will be led by CEO Erik Roddenhof, the present CEO of De Persgroep in the Netherlands.

Christian Van Thillo, CEO of De Persgroep: ‘Our strategy is geared largely to the digital transformation of our media. It is primarily a question of converging word, image, video, and audio, but it’s also about data, top-class technology, and a completely new way of serving our advertisers. We have concluded that our companies in Belgium and the Netherlands must work together more closely in order to achieve this transformation.’ 

Erik Roddenhof, CEO of De Persgroep Belgium-Netherlands says : ‘Together, we have the means for major investment in the development of digital platforms which are suitable in both countries. We can also supply strong reinforcements for each other in journalism, audio, online video, marketing, advertising, and online services.’ 

The BENE Organisation, what does it look like?

The BENE Organisation of De Persgroep will consist of four sections:

  1. De Persgroep Publishing/MEDIALAAN, which will be led from now on by Kris Vervaet (CEO) and Dirk Lodewyckx as CMO and COO of the audiovisual activities. Other than that, the management will remain unchanged, with the exception of Erwin Deckers, who will be the Chief Creative Officer (CCO) within the BENE management.
  2. De Persgroep Netherlands, led by CEO Erik Roddenhof.
  3. De Persgroep Online Services: the online services from Belgium (Vacature, Spaargids, mijnenergie, and Livios) and the Netherlands (Nationale Vacaturebank, Tweakers, Intermediary, and Autotrack) and also our telecom activities (Mobile Vikings and JIM Mobile) are being housed in a separate section and get a separate focus. A new CEO for this organisation is being sought after.
  4. ICT, led by a CIO.


Christian Van Thillo says: ‘Media are strongly anchored culturally, and that’s exactly why it is essential to have strong local management teams, but digital development and competition against the global players also require a large-scale and cross-border united efforts.’

Kris Vervaet – new CEO of De Persgroep Publishing/MEDIALAAN

Kris Vervaet, Director of Publishing and Digital Business Development with De Persgroep Publishing since September of this year, is now the CEO of De Persgroep Publishing/MEDIALAAN. 47-year-old Kris Vervaet was until recently Senior Vice President of the Business Customer Division at EDF in France. The search is now on for a new Director of Publishing and Digital Business Development.

Kris Vervaet, CEO of De Persgroep Publishing/MEDIALAAN says: ‘We reach millions of viewers, listeners, readers, and surfers every day with our brands. It is an absolute privilege to lead the new organisation which will be created from the merger of De Persgroep Publishing and MEDIALAAN. The challenges and ambitions are great. I am pleased to be able to rely on a team of talented and enthusiastic colleagues. Together we’re going to make a success of it. I’m looking forward to it.’