The German media giant Axel Springer named media-industry veteran Goli Sheikholeslami as CEO of its Politico Media Group. She replaces Patrick Steel, who left Politico in December after a four-year run. Sheikholeslami begins at Politico in February.
She comes to Politico after two years as CEO of New York Public Radio, which owns WNYC, WQXR and Gothamist. She also served as CEO of Chicago Public Media from 2014 to 2019 and held positions at Conde Nast, TheWashington Post and Time Warner.
The appointment is the first big move for the Berlin-based Springer, which acquired Politico last October for around $1 billion.
"What I admire most about Politico is the tenacity that underpins the organization's fearless, fact-based journalism and its successful business model,” Sheikholeslami stated. “With this strong foundation, no other media organization is better positioned for growth, and I look forward to working with such a talented group of journalists and professionals to write Politico and Protocol’s next chapter.”
Sheikholeslami is the daughter of an Iranian diplomat. She fled Iran with her family after the country’s 1979 revolution. She joins Politico at a time when Springer indicated it wants to beef up its U.S. presence and step up the pace of acquisitions. Axel Springer previously purchased Business Insider in 2015, which it renamed Insider.
Springer operates in 40 countries with brands that include Bild, Welt and Inside. It has more than 16,000 employees worldwide.