After switching sides

A former award-winning journalist reflects on his move into the corporate world

Although the call came as a surprise, I knew the man on the other end of the line well: it was the communications director of a company I had regularly covered in an earlier job. I knew him as a reliable person who was always well informed, never unfriendly and occasionally tough. He asked me, “Would you consider becoming a press officer?”
I quickly reviewed whether there were any other interesting jobs on the horizon. I’d worked in journalism for several years and had been privileged enough to have a wide variety of interesting jobs. Most recently, I had served as deputy editor-in-chief of the German weekly magazine Stern. Now I was being offered the chance to be the spokesman of an international company, working directly with the most interesting CEO I was aware of. It didn’t take me long to accept. As in other jobs, I made the decision based on the people involved and the job itself. The terms and conditions were right. The fact that I would be ‘switching sides’ was not an issue.

Oliver Herrgesell

Oliver Herrgesell is senior vice president communications, Turner. He is in charge of international communications. Until 2012 he was responsible for communications, public affairs and marketing for RTL Group; before joining the group in Luxembourg in February 2006, he served for six years as deputy head of corporate communications at Europe's leading media company Bertelsmann. Prior to that, he worked in Austria and Germany as a journalist for television broadcasters (ORF, Premiere/Sky Deutschland), magazines (Wiener, Tempo, Stern) and newspapers (Die Woche, Berliner Zeitung). In addition, Herrgesell is member of the board, Save the Children in Germany since January 2010.