An investment banker for Schalke 04
FC Schalke 04 will have a new CEO at the turn of the year. The supervisory board announced that it has chosen Matthias Tillmann, who has been a member of the board at Trivago, a hotel price comparison platform. Tillmann will succeed Bernd Schröder, who reached a mutual agreement with the supervisory board to terminate his contract in July.
As Chairman and Spokesman of the Executive Board, Tillmann will assume strategic overall responsibility and will oversee the departments of sales, marketing, communication, digital, fans & sustainability, as well as events & security. It is emphasized that the 39-year-old was found through an external search process, but supervisory board chairman Axel Hefer and Tillmann are familiar with each other from their time at Trivago. Hefer served as the CEO of the hotel search engine from 2020 until May of this year.
Tillmann 'completely convinced' the supervisory board's search committee due to his leadership experience in large companies, strong communication skills, experience in sports sponsorship, and his connection to football and the club, according to Hefer.
After studying economics and mathematics, Tillmann began his career in 2009 in the investment banking division of Deutsche Bank as Vice President Global Markets. From 2015 to 2016, the native of Düsseldorf worked in the trading division of RWE before joining Trivago. Coincidentally, the new CEO has been a member of Schalke 04 since 1995.
Agenda for the first 90 days
FC Schalke is going through a very challenging period where crucial decisions need to be made both in sports and financially. 'That's why I've set an agenda for the first 90 days,' notes Tillmann. After a stabilization phase, the focus must be on moving forward to bring Schalke 04 back to the Bundesliga in the medium term.
After nine matchdays, the club is currently in the relegation playoff spot in the second Bundesliga. However, for sporting success, a stable economic foundation is also necessary. Therefore, Tillmann states that his central focus will initially be on sales and sponsorship. Just this weekend, Schalke signed Belgian Karel Geraerts as the new head coach. His contract runs until June 2025 for the time being.