Hofman has been chief exec of the Deutschland 83 and Generation War maker since 2017 but has been with the company for more than a quarter of a century. In that sense, his exit from the CEO post marks the end of an era.
Hofman had joined in 1998 to set up TeamWorx, which is now UFA Fiction, and went on to produce many of Germany’s best-travelling drama series. Notably Deutschland 83 was the first from the country to air on a U.S. network.
His replacement, Schwingel, was most recently Deputy Chief Content Officer of RTL Deutschland, overseeing the likes of RTL Television, RTL+ and VOX, where he was previously CEO. He is well known to Hofman having started his career at TeamWorx. There he oversaw shows such as event series Die Sturmflut, Dresden and Die Hindenburg before moving to ARD Degeto, where he worked on Babylon Berlin.
With immediate effect, he will be based in Berlin and report to Fremantle CEO for Continental Europe and Group COO Andrea Scrosati, as well joining the production giant’s global leadership team.
“I would like to personally thank Nico for his hard-work and commitment to UFA for the past 26 years,” said Fremantle Group CEO Jennifer Mullin. “With him at the helm, UFA has maintained its position as a leading German media company and a vital part of the Fremantle Group. We are delighted he will become Chairman and stay within the Fremantle family. At the same time, I am so pleased to welcome Sascha back to the business and look forward to working with him to shape and drive UFA’s future.”
“After 26 years with Bertelsmann and eight years at the helm of UFA I have decided, together with Jennifer Mullin and Andrea Scrosati, to pass on the leadership of UFA,” said Hofmann. “In Sascha, who is a friend and colleague for many years, we have found an experienced and highly talented successor. With great creative energy, Sascha has pursued a successful career at our subsidiary teamWorx, at public broadcaster ARD and at RTL Deutschland – evolving as an intelligent manager with a strong reputation in the creative scene.
UFA comprises of four successful production units: UFA Fiction, which is behind the Deutschland franchise and Helgoland 513; UFA Serial Drama, which makes soaps such as Unter Uns and Alles was zählt; UFA Show & Factual and UFA Documentary, which made Prime Video’s All or Nothing: The National Team in Katar.