March 21, 2023

Thomas Middelhoff Draws on More Than 40 Years of Industry Experience to Launch Middelhoff Consulting

Thomas Middelhoff has held several high-level positions during his long and successful business career that started in 1986. His first board member position, which he served from 1994 to 2002, was with Bertelsmann Company in Germany. Thanks to his influence, Bertelsmann became a leader in digital communications and is now one of the world’s leading media companies. Middelhoff became CEO of the company in 1998 and held that position for four years.

Thomas Middelhoff’s Most Recent Positions and Board Memberships

While serving as the CEO of Bertelsmann Company, Thomas Middelhoff was instrumental in forging a strategic partnership with AOL. He then served on the board of directors at AOL for five years, starting in 1995 and ending in 2000.


After leaving Bertelsmann Company in 2002, Middelhoff went to work for Investcorp, a global private entity company. For the next three years, he led all European activities for Investcorp.

Arcandor AG

In 2004, Middelhoff accepted an appointment with Arcandor AG as the company’s Chairman of the Supervisory Board. He became the CEO of Arcandor AG the following year with the expectation that he would save it from insolvency. He initially agreed to a three-year contract. After seeing how his hard work was turning the company around, its board of directors extended his contract until 2008.

The New York Times

During his tenure of serving on the board of the New York Times, which spanned from 2003 until 2014, Thomas Middelhoff oversaw the transition from a traditional print publication to a fully digitalized newspaper. 

Educational Background of Thomas Middelhoff

Middelhoff received his undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Muenster in 1979. He then worked for his alma mater as an assistant at its Institute of Marketing. He returned to school in 1984 and presented his doctoral thesis on the topic of Online Service and retail. The University of Saarland granted Middelhoff a doctorate degree in 1986. 

The Launch of Middelhoff Consulting

After more than three decades working at some of the most well-known companies in the world, Thomas Middelhoff started his own consulting firm. He brings proven management strategies and the lessons he learned from holding multiple board positions to the table when working with clients. Middelhoff’s career has taken him from Germany to all of Europe and the United States. 

Perhaps the most important experience that Middelhoff draws on when helping his clients run more successful businesses is the 120 mergers and acquisitions transactions he facilitated over the years. Today, he uses his business experience and educational background to offer clients each of the services described below.

Business Coaching

As the founder and CEO of Middelhoff Consulting, business coaching is at the heart of what Thomas Middelhoff does each day. He works with both groups and individuals to provide input on strategic positioning that changes the direction of the organization. His coaching work begins with identifying strengths and weaknesses, followed by preparing goals and action steps for every identified challenge.

Mergers and Acquisitions Advisory

Middelhoff offers practical insights and actionable tips to clients in the United States and Asia involved in a company merger or acquisition on either side of the transaction. Some specific ways he helps his clients with mergers and acquisitions include:

  • Finding the right investment bank
  • Negotiation services
  • Preparing company management for the sales process and then coordinating and organizing it
  • Selling companies or units of companies without a retainer

Thomas Middelhoff provides crucial support for his clients, whether they are buying, selling, or merging with a business. They look to him for advice about financing, strategy, structure, and the best time to agree to the transaction.

Strategic Consulting

Middelhoff provides his clients with strategic consulting that involves the following services:

  • Business assessment
  • Differential analysis of the competition
  • Establishing the company’s strategic advantage

As a trusted financial advisor, Middelhoff works with clients from the beginning to the end of the investment cycle.


Middelhoff frequently gives presentations for corporate groups that focus on digitization. After hearing him speak, attendees are in a better position to analyze data and create a new digital strategy. The acceleration and automation of workflow is just one example of a process that he demonstrates during a live workshop.