POLITICO Europe appoints Claire Boussagol as new CEO

POLITICO Europe, a joint venture between POLITICO and Axel Springer, today announced that Claire Boussagol will assume the role as POLITICO Europe’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), beginning the new role on 16 June.

She will succeed Shéhérazade Semsar-de Boisséson, who is stepping down as CEO at her own request to take on new pursuits, including a new role as a member of POLITICO Europe’s Advisory Board. In this role, Semsar-de Boisséson will continue to contribute to the company’s further development and growth across Europe.

As POLITICO Europe’s incoming CEO, Claire Boussagol will lead POLITICO Europe’s next chapter of growth. She joins POLITICO Europe from APCO Worldwide, where she most recently held the position of President Europe. Before this, she was Managing Director of APCO Worldwide’s offices in Paris and Brussels.

Departing CEO Shéhérazade Semsar-de Boisséson leaves an impressive legacy. During her six-year tenure, she and her team established POLITICO Europe as the must-read for the powerful in Brussels and expanded a distinct new form of journalism to London and Paris. The team developed and launched POLITICO Pro, the premium subscription service and one of the savviest tech-driven policy platforms. Delivering double-digit growth year over year, POLITICO Europe achieved profitability within the first four years.

Shéhérazade Semsar-de Boisséson said: “What an incredible ride this has been. When I bought European Voice from The Economist Group in 2013, my dream was to turn it into the POLITICO of Brussels. This became a reality faster than I had expected, thanks to the joint venture between POLITICO and Axel Springer, who shared this vision and supported me all the way backing this venture with all their heart. Together, we built a first-class, sustainable publication—journalism at its best. I am very proud of my team and of what we have achieved together.

“I firmly believe that the next chapter of the company requires a different profile and that change is good. While I am stepping down as CEO, my heart is at POLITICO, and it will remain there. The Advisory Board has asked me to join them, and I am honoured to accept.”

Robert Allbritton, Publisher & Executive Chairman, POLITICO, commented: “From the day I met Shéhérazade, it was obvious that she is a natural born POLITICO. Her ambitions, energy and integrity are the embodiment of what we do every day. Shéhérazade’s leadership of our incredibly talented team in Europe made POLITICO Europe the success it is today.

“In conjunction with our partners at Axel Springer were given a mighty task in identifying a worthy successor to Shéhérazade, and I believe we have done just that with Claire Boussagol. Claire brings new perspectives that will allow us to gain greater heights as we enter the next chapter for POLITICO Europe. I am also thrilled that Shéhérazade has agreed to continue on our team as a member of POLITICO Europe’s Advisory Board. With Claire taking the helm of POLITICO and Sheherazade on the Advisory Board providing strategic guidance, my imagination expands for what POLITICO Europe will achieve next.”

Mathias Döpfner, CEO, Axel Springer SE said: “In the past six years, Shéhérazade has turned POLITICO Europe into one of the most influential publications ever launched in Europe. With her clear vision, her strategic and hands-on approach, and her way of inspiring and engaging people, she is a true leader. We are grateful that she will become a part of the Advisory Board to continue to support POLITICO Europe with her remarkable experience.

“In Claire, we have found the ideal successor for Shéhérazade. It is not without reason that she was recognized by POLITICO as one of the top women leaders shaping Brussels last year. She has extensive experience in growing teams and companies, understands European policy and politics, and shares our vision for POLITICO Europe. I look very much forward to working with her.”

Claire Boussagol said of her appointment: “It is indeed an honour to take the helm of POLITICO Europe – and a challenge to follow in the footsteps of Shéhérazade, who, in a very short time-span, has built almost from scratch a universally respected – and often feared – media-organization in a highly competitive and unforgiving environment. This she has accomplished with no concession to the harsh economic realities of our time; profitable growth for our joint shareholders shall also be my guideline.

“This said, in the various positions of authority I have held over the years, I have never erred from an unflinching belief in the democratic value of a free and unfettered press. In all circumstances, I shall support and defend our journalists’ independence of thought and objectivity of assessment. I also know that I can wholly rely on the members of the skilled management team that Shéhérazade has brought together over the past six years.”


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