Restructuring of the management level

ZEBRALUTION restructures management team for strategic growth

  • Tina Jürgens becomes Co-CEO of the company group effective January 1st, 2024
  • Shareholder Konrad von Löhneysen joins the management team starting October 1st, 2023
  • Company founder Kurt Thielen steps down from management at the end of the year
  • Co-Founder Sascha Lazimbat joins ZEBRALUTION U.S. Inc. as Director & President in Los Angeles, starting September 2023

The all-audio company group ZEBRALUTION is about to undergo an extensive restructuring of its management team. Current Chief Operating Officer (COO), Tina Jürgens, will lead the group as Co-CEO together with seasoned music manager Konrad von Löhneysen, starting January 1st, 2024. Company founder Kurt Thielen is stepping down as CEO at the end of the year after almost twenty years at the helm, and his Co-Founder Sascha Lazimbat is taking on new internationalization responsibilities from Los Angeles.

      Responsibility for the entire business of the Group: Tina Jürgens becomes Co-CEO

      As Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Tina Jürgens will take over management of the ZEBRALUTION Group, effective January 1st, 2024. As COO, she has already been coordinating the day-to-day business of the entire group of companies since October 2022. In 2018, she joined the all-audio company as Managing Director of ZEBRALUTION Podcast (formerly and successfully built up the subsidiary. With the promotion to the top post at ZEBRALUTION, the shareholders honor this achievement and place the responsibility for the strategic development of the group in her hands.

      „Kurt Thielen has very big shoes to fill, so I am honored to have the trust of all shareholders and co- managers,” says Tina Jürgens, incoming Co-CEO of ZEBRALUTION. “ZEBRALUTION has developed over the past years from a music-only distributor to one of the leading all-audio companies. ZEBRALUTION is now not only at home in the music, audiobooks and podcast industries, it also offers the necessary technical infrastructure and the corresponding services. I want to successfully continue on this path, with a focus on the further technical development of our systems and offerings, as well as the continued expansion of the synergies between all business areas.”

              Change of perspective: Konrad von Löhneysen joins the management team as Co-CEO

              ZEBRALUTION appoints Konrad von Löhneysen as Co-CEO as of October 1st, 2023. The veteran label boss dedicates himself from now on to the group’s music division and the expansion of the business in the field of neighboring rights (Rightz Audio), as well as the company’s internationalization with ZEBRALUTION U.S. Inc. von Löhneysen has already been one of ZEBRALUTION’s shareholders alongside Kurt Thielen, Sascha Lazimbat and Christof Ellinghaus since 2017. After thirty years in the label business, the Founder and Managing Director of “Embassy of Music” is now switching to the music distribution business for the first time. His company, which evolved from the label “Ministry of Sounds” in 2008, has been one of ZEBRALUTION’s digital distribution customers since day one. During his entry into the management team, the distribution contract with “Embassy of Music” is extended. Likewise, the cooperation with “City Slang”, the indie label founded thirty-three years ago by Co-Partner Christof Ellinghaus, will also be extended.

                For me, this new position is the logical continuation of my previous work as a shareholder.

                  Konrad von Löhneysen
                  Soon-to-be Co-CEO

                  „“My thanks go to Kurt for his successful leadership of the company. We will continue to strengthen ZEBRALUTION’s influence on the music world. We are a Berlin-based company – with no major or financial investors. We understand music and we listen to what our partners and labels want, whatever the challenges may be. These are exciting times to be in the Music Biz!” says Konrad von Löhneysen, ZEBRALUTION’s soon-to-be Co-CEO.

                      An era comes to an end: Kurt Thielen exits the management board

                      After almost twenty years, ZEBRALUTION Co-Founder Kurt Thielen will resign from the ZEBRALUTION Group’s management team, effective December 31st, 2023. He will remain associated with ZEBRALUTION as a consultant, especially for the international audiobook business. Thielen looks back on a unique career in the music and publishing industry. Together with Sascha Lazimbat, he founded ZEBRALUTION in 2004 as the first European digital distributor for independent labels with a global focus, shaping the music industry on a worldwide scale. Prior to that, Thielen built up Rough Trade Germany / Zomba, one of the most important physical indie distributors in Europe and led it for over two decades.

                      „I look back on thirty-eight exciting years as CEO of ZEBRALUTION and Rough Trade/Zomba. I am immensely proud of what we have achieved with ZEBRALUTION as pioneers in the industry. I can’t think of a more opportune moment for this change in responsibility,” says Founder and current CEO of ZEBRALUTION, Kurt Thielen. “I would like to thank the fantastic ZEBRALUTION team, my fellow shareholders and especially Tina and Konrad. With these two, I know the company is in the best hands. I am sure they will lead ZEBRALUTION with as much passion as I did.”

                      Elevated international focus: Sascha Lazimbat heads to the USA

                      ZEBRALUTION Co-Founder Sascha Lazimbat has already exited his role as Managing Director of ZEBRALUTION GmbH in August 2023. Since September, he has been working as Director and President for ZEBRALUTION U.S. Inc. from its Los Angeles location, which was newly established at the beginning of this year. Together with CEO Natalia Carlson, he forms the management team for the U.S. subsidiary. ZEBRALUTION U.S. Inc.‘s responsibilities include the local provision of marketing, sales and customer support services for all of ZEBRALUTION Group’s business units in the U.S. market. In addition, the subsidiary is focused on developing new business areas, including music licensing for film, TV and advertising.

                      „The ZEBRALUTION Group has always been driven by new opportunities and challenges, and currently we see tremendous growth potential in the U.S. ZEBRALUTION is well positioned in Europe, now we want to bring our state-of-the-art technologies and products to the U.S. market,” says Sascha Lazimbat, President of ZEBRALUTION U.S..

                      With Tina and Konrad as Co-CEOs of ZEBRALUTION Group, we have a real dream team at the helm. And the fact that we are now demonstrating the diversity of our company at its highest level is the cherry on top for me.

                      Sascha Lazimbat
                      President of ZEBRALUTION U.S.

                      About Zebralution

                      ZEBRALUTION was founded in 2004 as the first digital distributor for independent labels in Europe. The independent company operates with dedicated operations, marketing, and business teams at eight offices in eight countries and distributes and markets over 3,500 labels and publishers from around the world. Alongside its music distribution division and neighboring rights administration activities through subsidiary rightz audio, since 2010 ZEBRALUTION has been just as focused on developing new commercial models for audiobooks and radio plays. In 2018, this was supplemented by podcasts through its subsidiary The development of technologies for digital media sales is now also part of ZEBRALUTION’s spectrum of services, following the acquisition of platform company Encoding Management Service (EMS). GEMA has been the majority shareholder of the digital sales company since 2019.

                      About Tina Jürgens

                      Tina Jürgens started her career at ZEBRALUTION in 2018 with the foundation of GmbH & Co.KG / ZEBRALUTION Podcast. Until October 2022, Jürgens was the Managing Director of the ZEBRALUTION subsidiary. During this time, she built up the podcast network and successfully established it in the market. Previously, she worked for large media houses such as Süddeutsche Zeitung, Axel Springer and most recently for Bayerischer Rundfunk and its marketing subsidiary BRmedia Service GmbH. In her role as COO of the ZEBRALUTION Group, she has been in charge of operations and all cross-company and cross-divisional issues since 2022. Since March 2021, she has also chaired the BVDW Digital Audio Focus Group.

                      About Konrad von Löhneysen

                      Konrad von Löhneysen began his career in record stores, but quickly moved to the industry side at Bertelsmann Music Group. He managed the offices of the Snap! producers' label "Logic Records" in London and New York. Later, he was Managing Director of Jive and Universal Records Germany. In the noughties, he went independent with the label "Ministry of Sound Germany" as a joint venture of the legendary London club label. In order to focus on local artists and a broader genre selection, he carried on the label since 2010 under the name "Embassy of Music" as a sole shareholder. He is co-partner of the radio station FluxFM and the production company behind the video format MagentaMusik Originals.

                      About Kurt Thielen

                      Kurt Thielen is one of the original figures of the independent sector in Germany. As Managing Director of Rough Trade, he made bands like New Order, The Smiths and Pixies known in Germany in the 80s. After the merger of Rough Trade with Jive/Zomba, he brought artists like Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and the Backstreet Boys to the top of the charts. Together with Sascha Lazimbat, he founded ZEBRALUTION in 2004 and ran the company for twenty years. Kurt Thielen was Audiobook Person of the Year 2018 and served a total of 7 years on the board of the German Music Industry Association. As co-owner of the audiobook publisher Finch&Zebra and shareholder of Rough Trade Retail Berlin, he will continue to be present in both the music and audiobook sectors, in addition to his work as a consultant for ZEBRALUTION.

                      About Sascha Lazimbat

                      Sascha Lazimbat is a serial entrepreneur and lawyer. He came to music in the 90s via journalism (including Spex, Viva TV, Frontpage, Groove). As Head of Music at Vodafone, he decisively drove the development of the digital music market in the noughties and, together with Kurt Thielen, developed the business model of ZEBRALUTION as the first digital distributor for independent labels in Europe. After the acquisition of ZEBRALUTION by Warner Music Group, he was Managing Director at WMG, founded an e-book distributor and advised companies such as Deutsche Telekom, ProSiebenSat.1, Pluto TV and Samsung. Most recently, in addition to his role at ZEBRALUTION, he was CEO of the GEMA-DIY artist service MusicHub. Since September 2023, he has led the operations of ZEBRALUTION U.S. Inc. as Director and President from the Los Angeles office.

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                      Stefanie Müller
                      schoesslers GmbH

                      +49 175 749 2999

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