The Grown-Up In Charge of Napster

Bertelsmann veteran Konrad Hilbers is no Net hipster, which may be a major plus as he charts a new course for the humbled online music service

For most of his career, Konrad Hilbers has stayed in the background. During his one-year stint as chief operating officer of online service AOL Europe, Hilbers was overshadowed by Andreas Schmidt, his more flamboyant boss. In his most recent post as COO of BMG Music, a unit of German media company Bertelsmann, a job he held until July 24, Hilbers was No. 2 in the organization after Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, who attracted the most press. Outside of $15 billion Bertelsmann -- for which Hilbers has worked directly or indirectly, through business partners such as AOL, for nearly a decade -- he is little-known.

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