Sascha Schwingel has been appointed as the new CEO of UFA, the German TV production giant. He will be taking over from Nico Hofmann, who will transition into the role of chairperson of the Berlin-based company. UFA, which is part of the global production company Fremantle, is renowned for producing hit series such as “Generation War,” “Deutschland ’83,” and “Ku’damm 56.”
Hofmann, who has been the CEO of UFA since 2017, joined the company in 1998 and was responsible for establishing UFA’s serial fiction group teamWorx, which is now known as UFA Fiction. During his tenure, Hofmann transformed UFA into Germany’s foremost television producer, creating shows across various genres that are broadcasted on almost every German channel and streaming service.
UFA consists of four production units: UFA Fiction, which specializes in high-quality dramas like “Deutschland ’83,” “Charité,” and the recent Disney+ series “Sam – A Saxon”; UFA Serial Drama, the soap division responsible for long-running serials such as “Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten” and “Unter Uns”; UFA Show & Factual, which produces popular entertainment shows like the German versions of “Got Talent” and “Idol”; and UFA Documentary, known for producing non-fiction content such as the Amazon docuseries “All or Nothing: The National Team in Katar,” which focuses on the German soccer team’s disappointing World Cup performance. UFA programs attract an average of over 30 million viewers on a weekly basis across all platforms.
Hofmann expressed his decision to step down from his position, stating, “After 26 years with Bertelsmann and eight years leading UFA, I have decided, in collaboration with Fremantle Group CEO Jennifer Mullin and Fremantle Group COO and CEO Continental Europe Andrea Scrosati, to pass on the leadership of UFA. In Sascha, who has been my friend and colleague for many years, we have found a highly skilled and experienced successor.” While Hofmann is proud of UFA and believes the company has a bright future, he looks forward to taking on his new role as chairman.
Schwingel, the newly appointed CEO, has an extensive background in the German media industry. He most recently served as the deputy chief content officer at RTL Deutschland, a commercial broadcaster that is also owned by German media giant Bertelsmann. Prior to this, Schwingel was the CEO of RTL Group-owned network Vox. He initially worked under Hofmann at teamWorx, overseeing notable event series such as “Die Sturmflut” and “Dresden.” Schwingel later joined ARD Degeto, the production division of public broadcaster ARD, where he served as a producer on shows like “Babylon Berlin” and “Gladbeck.”
Mullin, the Fremantle Group CEO, expressed her gratitude towards Hofmann for his hard work and commitment to UFA over the past 26 years. She believes that under Hofmann’s leadership, UFA has maintained its position as a leading German media company and an invaluable part of the Fremantle Group. Mullin also welcomed Schwingel back to the business, expressing her enthusiasm for working together to shape and drive UFA’s future.
Scrosati, the COO and CEO Continental Europe of Fremantle Group, described Schwingel as an innovative, creative, and savvy leader who is the perfect choice to steer UFA towards a successful future. He acknowledged the significant role played by UFA in Fremantle’s global success, producing hit content across various genres.
Schwingel expressed his gratitude for being given the opportunity to serve as CEO of UFA, stating that returning to the company where he began his career feels like coming home. He thanked Hofmann for establishing strong foundations and expressed his eagerness to build upon the company’s success with the UFA team.
With the appointment of Sascha Schwingel as the new CEO, UFA is poised to continue its legacy as a powerhouse in the German television production industry. Under his leadership, UFA will likely expand its portfolio of high-quality dramas, soaps, entertainment shows, and documentaries, captivating audiences and reaching new heights of success both in Germany and globally.