Today we announce the appointment of Sascha Schwingel as CEO of UFA, one of the leading producers of TV and streaming in the German-speaking market and part of our global network.
Based in Berlin and reporting to Group COO and CEO Continental Europe Andrea Scrosati, Sascha Schwingel will join the Fremantle Global Leadership Team and begins his post with immediate effect.
Sascha Schwingel succeeds Nico Hofmann, who now becomes Chairman of the company. Nico also remains closely connected to the parent company Bertelsmann, as an advisory board member of the Liz Mohn Center. Nico Hofmann has been CEO of UFA since 2017 and has had a long career within the Group beginning in 1998 when he set up teamWorx (now UFA Fiction). Over the years he has achieved vast national and international success for his work, including an International Emmy for Generation War and the series Deutschland83, the latter of which was the first German-language drama to air on a US network which launched to major critical acclaim. Today, UFA produces for almost all German TV channels and global streaming offers that are active in the national market. UFA’s programmes reach an average of over 30 million viewers weekly (1st HY 2023).
As CEO of UFA, Germany’s leading production company, Sascha Schwingel will have oversight and strategic direction of all aspects of the business including production output of its four main divisions UFA Fiction, UFA Serial Drama, UFA Show and Factual and UFA Documentary, as well as key corporate functions.
Schwingel is a seasoned media executive, who was most recently Deputy Chief Content Officer of RTL Deutschland (incl. RTL Television, RTL+, VOX). Prior to this role, he was CEO of the RTL Group-owned TV channel VOX Television (2019-2022) where he led the channel to become among the top three German commercial private broadcasters in the target group. Sascha Schwingel started his career at teamWorx (now UFA Fiction) and was responsible as a producer of programmes including the historical two-part event series Die Sturmflut, Dresden and Die Hindenburg. In 2014 he moved to ARD Degeto, where as Head of Production & Program Management he was also responsible for award-winning programs such as Babylon Berlin and The Barschel Case.
Jennifer Mullin, Group CEO, Fremantle, commented: “I would like to personally thank Nico for his hard-work and commitment to UFA for the past 26 years. With him at the helm, UFA has maintained its position as a leading German media company and a vital part of the Fremantle Group. We are delighted he will become Chairman and stay within the Fremantle family. At the same time, I am so pleased to welcome Sascha back to the business and look forward to working with him to shape and drive UFA’s future.”
Andrea Scrosati, Group COO and CEO Continental Europe, Fremantle, commented: “Sascha is an innovative, creative and savvy leader, and a great choice to lead UFA into the future. UFA plays a huge part in the success of Fremantle globally, as a true portfolio business which produces hit after hit across all genres. I look forward to working closely with Sascha and his management team as we build on past successes to create an extremely strong and globally appealing business. I am also honoured to have the opportunity to work with and draw from Nico’s vast experience, with him now in place as Chairman.”
Nico Hofmann, Chairman, UFA added: “After 26 years with Bertelsmann and eight years at the helm of UFA I have decided, together with Jennifer Mullin and Andrea Scrosati, to pass on the leadership of UFA. In Sascha, who is a friend and colleague for many years, we have found an experienced and highly talented successor. With great creative energy, Sascha has pursued a successful career at our subsidiary teamWorx, at public broadcaster ARD and at RTL Deutschland – evolving as an intelligent manager with a strong reputation in the creative scene. Thank you to Jennifer for her warm and cooperative support, to Andrea for his curiosity and openness in appointing Sascha as my successor and to RTL Group and Bertelsmann for a great understanding of creative entrepreneurship – something I have been lucky to experience over all these years. UFA is my pride and joy, a great production company with a great team. With Sascha and the commitment from Fremantle I have high hopes for the future – a future where I am happy to take on the role of Chairman.”
Sascha Schwingel, incoming CEO, UFA, added: “Becoming CEO of UFA is a huge privilege. I began my career at UFA Fiction-label teamWorx and spent 15 exciting years with UFA, so to take this role now feels like coming home to me. I would like to thank Nico for all the great foundations he has laid, as well as Jennifer and Andrea for the trust and I look forward to building on this success with the team.”
UFA comprises of four successful production units; UFA Fiction (Gute Freunde – Der Aufstieg des FC Bayern, Helgoland 513, Charité, Deutschland ’8389; Sam – Ein Sachse, Where’s Wanda?), UFA Serial Drama (Unter Uns, Alles was zählt, Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten, UFA Show & Factual (Deutschland sucht den Superstar, Das Supertalent, Wer weiss denn Sowas,) and UFA Documentary (Arctic Drift, All or Nothing: The National Team in Katar).