HITS Daily Double


BMG Veteran Was About To Take Over As President, CEO And Chairman-Designate
Rudi Gassner, who was just days away from becoming President, CEO and Chairman-designate of BMG Entertainment (see Y2K In Review), died on the morning of Dec. 23 of an apparent heart attack while jogging with his wife near his vacation home in Samerberg, Germany. What follows is the text of the BMG release:

Rudi Gassner (58) died at approximately 10:30 this morning (Central European time) of what was believed to have been a heart attack at his vacation home in Samerberg, Germany.

It was recently announced that Gassner would be making his triumphant return to BMG as its President, CEO and Chairman-designate on January 1, 2001. A 31-year veteran of the music industry, he most recently served as President and CEO of BMG International, and is credited with building it into one of the world's largest, most successful music organizations. He stepped down from that role in February of this year. His work in developing BMG's fledgling group of music companies into a highly successful and cohesive international music force was the focus of a prestigious Harvard Business School case study. He was also an Advisor to the Dean at Harvard's JFK School of Government and served on its advisory committee. He was an active member of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

Prior to his career in the music industry, he played professional soccer in Germany. He was a native of Munich, Germany and has lived in United States for the past 13 years, most recently in Greenwich, Connecticut. The family respectfully requests privacy and consideration during this time of immense sorrow.

He is survived by his wife, Brook Gassner, four children, Claudia, Beatrice, Alexandra, and Maximilian, as well as his mother, Mathilde Gassner.