8 June 2023 – Dr Marc Lenz and Dr Steffen Merkel will be appointed as joint-CEOs of DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga GmbH from 1 July 2023. This was unanimously decided by the Supervisory Board of DFL GmbH chaired by Hans-Joachim Watzke at a meeting on Wednesday.
Lenz and Merkel have both been with the DFL GmbH for many years, are already members of the DFL Management Board, and are closely involved in the work and proceedings of the league’s governing bodies. From July, they will succeed the interim CEOs Axel Hellmann and Oliver Leki, who will perform their roles until 30 June 2023 as planned, allowing for an optimal handover period. The DFL will provide information on the precise responsibilities of the new management team in due course.
Hans-Joachim Watzke, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DFL GmbH: “Dr Marc Lenz and Dr Steffen Merkel have been doing excellent work for the DFL for many years. Both enjoy the highest respect within the organisation and at the clubs. They are familiar with all matters and future projects of the DFL Group, were already part of the management group, and have excellent networks. I am convinced that their fresh, creative thinking – coupled with long-standing experience and expertise, both externally as well as in-house – will provide a very good basis for successfully managing the current challenges. In particular, I hope that the new management team, with the support of the Executive Committee, will be able to build a stable foundation for constructive, open cooperation between the 36 clubs.
“At the same time, I would like to express once again that I am incredibly grateful to Axel Hellmann and Oliver Leki, as well as their clubs Eintracht Frankfurt and Sport-Club Freiburg, for making themselves available at a time of great change. I would also like to thank them for their outstanding work in the interests of all of German football.”
Marc Lenz (37) has been with the DFL since 2019 and is currently Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy and International Affairs. In addition to global sport policy issues, Lenz has managed various strategic projects with economic and social relevance to the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 in recent years. Since 2019, Marc Lenz has also represented the DFL in the European Leagues and the World Leagues Forum, as well as all European leagues in the UEFA Club Licensing Committee, an advisory body to the UEFA Executive Committee, focusing on measures to strengthen standards and financial sustainability in European football. Before joining the DFL, Dr Marc Lenz worked at UEFA and McKinsey & Company.
Steffen Merkel (37) has been with the DFL since 2014. From 2020 onward, he has been Executive Vice President responsible for German-language media rights, national and international product management and the protection of audiovisual rights against copyright infringement. In various functions, he also previously worked on the preparation and implementation of tender processes for media rights in 2016 and 2020, and managed and promoted DFL projects in strategically relevant areas for the future. Before joining the DFL, Dr Steffen Merkel worked for the Boston Consulting Group.
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