Spielwarenmesse eG

Spielwarenmesse eG: Supervisory Board announces changes to Executive Board

  • Ernst Kick and Dr. Hans-Juergen Richter to step down in 2021
  • Christian Ulrich, Florian Hess and Jens Pflüger form three-strong team

The management of Spielwarenmesse eG is setting the course for the future and has revealed significant changes to the Executive Board which will take effect half-way through next year. The long-standing Executives Ernst Kick (CEO) and Dr. Hans-Juergen Richter will be leaving on 30 June 2021 when their term comes to an end. The new Executive Board will be expanded to three members. Christian Ulrich, Florian Hess and Jens Pflüger, all experienced industry experts, will take over the helm of the Nuremberg exhibition organiser and marketing services provider on 1 July 2021. The decision was made during the Supervisory Board meeting on 8 May 2020.

This early decision by Spielwarenmesse eG demonstrates foresight and consideration. Axel Kaldenhoven, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Spielwarenmesse eG, commented: “Trade fairs are as important as ever and will lose none of their significance. After all, industries across the board thrive on personal business relationships. This strategic step is both logical and right and will ensure that Spielwarenmesse eG continues to operate successfully and proactively.”

The generous time frame paves the way for a fluid transition. The future management team will be taking over a solid company which Ernst Kick and Dr. Hans-Juergen Richter have adapted to the changing market in recent years, shaping it in decisive ways. Assuming his role as CEO in 2002, Ernst Kick has strengthened the cooperative, whilst conceptually reinforcing the leading role of the Spielwarenmesse and driving internationalisation. As a member of the Executive Board, Dr. Hans-Juergen Richter has been responsible for legal questions and matters relating to members since 2005.

The three future members of the Executive Board have been recruited from the cooperative’s own ranks. Christian Ulrich, Florian Hess and Jens Pflüger have many years’ experience in the exhibition industry and, as members of the management, have all played an important role in shaping company strategy and building international exhibition projects. Their responsibilities are all clearly defined: Christian Ulrich will assume the role of Executive Board Spokesman and will be responsible for Marketing, Press Relations & Communication as well as New Business Areas. Florian Hess will oversee Event Organisation, Sales and Legal Matters. Jens Pflüger will look after Finance, IT, HR, Digitalisation and Member Services.

Commenting on the changes, Ernst Kick stated: “I’ll be delighted next year to place the responsibilities of the Executive Board in such trustworthy and capable hands.” When speaking about the transition in difficult times such as these, he also had a few words of encouragement: “The exhibition industry is facing unprecedented challenges. Given that the team had already started working on alternative formats even before corona and we are happy to offer guidance during the transition period, I’m optimistic that the new team will be very successful in steering the fortunes of Spielwarenmesse eG long into the future.”