• Ernst Kick
    Ernst Kick

Spielwarenmesse eG has announced that long-standing CEO Ernst Kick and executive Dr Hans-Juergen Richter will be stepping down from the management team at the end of their contracts in 2021. 

Kick and Richter will depart the organisation on 30 June 2021 and the new executive board will be made up of three members: Christian Ulrich, Florian Hess and Jens Pflüger. 

Assuming his role as CEO in 2002, Kick has strengthened the organisation, while conceptually reinforcing the leading role of the Spielwarenmesse and driving internationalisation.

Meanwhile, as a member of the executive board, Richter has been responsible for legal questions and matters relating to members since 2005. 

Commenting on the changes, Ernst Kick said that despite the difficulties facing the event industry at the moment, he is confident that the new team will overcome the challenges. 

"I’ll be delighted next year to place the responsibilities of the executive board in such trustworthy and capable hands.

"The exhibition industry is facing unprecedented challenges.

"Given that the team had already started working on alternative formats even before COVID-19 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," he said. 

Ulrich, Hess and Pflüger have many years experience in the exhibition industry and, as existing members of Spielwarenmesse eG management, have all played an important role in shaping company strategy and building international exhibition projects.

Given the long lead-up time to the transition, each of the new members' responsibilities have been clearly defined.

Ulrich will assume the role of executive board spokesman and will be responsible for marketing, press relations and communication as well as new business areas.

Hess will oversee event organisation, sales and legal matters while Pflüger will look after finance, IT, HR, digitalisation and member services.

The decision was made during the Supervisory Board meeting on 8 May 2020.

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