He also said that the build workplace culture would not be replicated in the United States. “We will not tolerate any behavior in our organizations around the world that does not follow our clear compliance policies. We aspire to be the best digital media company in the democratic world with the highest ethical standards and an inclusive, open culture. “
Axel Springer forwarded a letter from lawyers saying Bild was not legally bound to sack Mr Reichelt.
But a March 1 message from Mr. Doppner to a friend, with whom they later disagreed over the way the company handled the charges against Mr. Reichelt, Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre, suggests that , while Mr Dofner was central to decision making. How to act on the findings of the investigation as chief executive may not have been impartial. In a message sent by Axel Springer after he became aware of the allegations, but before the investigation began, Mr. Dopner referred to an opinion column by Mr. Reichelt complaining about the Covid restrictions.
Mr. Dopner wrote that “we have to be particularly careful” in the investigation, as Mr. Reichelt is “truly the last and only journalist in Germany who is still courageously rebelling against the new GDR authoritarian state,” a copy of As per the message that I received. (The reference to the GDR, or communist East Germany in this context, is akin to the “wake up mob”.) Mr. Dopner also wrote that Mr. Reichelt had “mighty enemies”.
Mr. Dopner’s political statement in that message may seem contrary to his stated plans for his new US assets, which The Wall Street Journal reported last week, “his approach to unbiased, non-partisan reporting, versus proactive journalism”. which, he said, is fueling social polarization in the US and elsewhere.”
As Axel Springer struggled to control the outcome of the Bild investigation, Mr. Dopner’s focus was on Washington. This spring and summer, he held secret, parallel conversations with executives from two rival news organizations based in Washington, Politico and Axios, the site started in 2016 by former Politico journalists Jim Vandehei, Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz.
Mr. Dopner’s goal was to buy out both and combine them into a powerful competitor to the country’s biggest news outlets. The Politico acquisition, announced in August, was a victory for his company. But behind the scenes, Axl Springer’s courtship style had alienated his other target.