Thomas Leysen

Thomas Leysen

Thomas Leysen is currently the Chairman and a large shareholder of Mediahuis Partners N.V (formerly Corelio), a subsidiary of Belgian-Dutch media conglomerate Mediahuis N.V., the leading publisher of newspapers in Belgium, The Netherlands, Ireland, Luxembourg and Germany, whose output includes De Standaard, De Telegraaf, NRC Handelsblad, Irish Independent, among others.He began his career in the maritime industry in Hamburg, London and Tokyo, managing the Transcor group, an international oil and coal trading company, from 1983 till 1988.  Leysen spent a large portion of his early career at Umicore (formerly Union Minière), and played a role in transitioning the company from being primarily focused on mining and smelting, into a materials technology group involved producing battery materials and automotive catalysts, and recycling precious metals. He was CEO of the company until 2008, and has served as Chairman of the Board since.

Throughout his career Leysen has also served as Chairman of the Federation of Belgian Enterprises (FEB) (2008 – 2011), and chairman of the KBS Group (2011 – 2020), a banking and insurance group primarily active in Belgium, Ireland and Central Europe. Leysen currently serves as a member of the global advisory board for Toyota, as well as a board member of Atlas Copco, who produce and maintain compressed air and gas equipment, industrial power tools, construction equipment, and industrial vacuum equipment. He is also the chairman of the Pluralis supervisory board.

Leysen is currently a member of the Bilderberg Groups steering committee, the Trilateral Groups European Commission and the European Roundtable of Industrialists.


Thomas’ father André Leysen laid the foundation of the company that would become Mediahuis NV. From 1952 until 1976 André Leysen (1927 – 2015) worked for Ahlers N.V, a shipping company based in Antwerp. He left in 1976 to become a co-founder of VUM (Vlaamse Uitgeversmaatschappij), who took over the publications of the Standaard Group, after they went bankrupt. VUM would eventually become known as Corelio, and was taken over by André’s son Thomas in 1978. André Leysen went on to work as the vice chairman of Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V (1983 – 1999), and was the director, and eventually vice-chairman of BMW AG (1988 – 1998). He was also the director of Deutsches Telekom AG, and a member of the Deutsche Bank advisory board from 1988 – 1999.Thomas’ brother, Christian Leysen is President of the AXE-group (comprising Ahlers, Xylos and AXE Investments) and is a member of the board of Agidens and member of the Supervisory board of K&H Bank (Hungary). He was Chairman of the Antwerp Management School from 2004 till 2016, and chairman of the International Advisory Board. He is a founding member and was the first chairman of ADM (a cluster of about 100 IT related companies) and of the Belgian Enterprise Network for Social Cohesion.

Media Companies / Groups
Media Outlets


Materials Technology


Family & Friends

Affiliated Interests Family Members Friends

Christian Leysen

Thomas Leysen's brother is President of the AXE-group (comprising Ahlers, Xylos and AXE Investments) and is a member of the board of Agidens and member of the Supervisory board of K&H Bank (Hungary).

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