Press release: Klaus Dittrich leaves Messe München after more than 20 years

  • Klaus Dittrich is leaving Messe München after spending 20 years at the company, including 12 years as CEO
  • Fairgrounds in Munich completed—internationalization, digitalization and sustainability widely shaped
  • Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer and Stefan Rummel will serve as co-CEOs beginning on July 1, 2022

Klaus Dittrich, the CEO of Messe München, will leave the company on June 30, 2022, as planned. In his 12 years as CEO, he has turned Messe München into one of the world’s most successful trade fair companies and broadly steered its international, digital and sustainable direction. Under a decision made last November, the company will be led by Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer and Stefan Rummel as co-CEOs beginning on July 1, 2022.

The CEO of Messe München, Klaus Dittrich (67), will retire on June 30, 2022, after spending more than 20 years at the company. Dittrich became a member of the management team in 2002 and assumed the position of CEO at the beginning of 2010. “Klaus Dittrich has turned Messe München into one of the world’s best and most commercially successful trade fair companies,” said Hubert Aiwanger, the Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs who serves as Chairman of the company’s Supervisory Board and shareholders’ meeting. “He also used his ingenuity, intense focus on company goals and courageous decisions to lead Messe München through the most challenging times in its entire history. Messe München weathered the storm caused by the coronavirus pandemic, assumed its social responsibility and is a successful company once again. We, the shareholders, all owe him a debt of gratitude for everything he has accomplished.”

Munich Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter, who serves as Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board and the shareholders’ meeting, also praised Dittrich’s achievements: “As a result of Mr. Dittrich’s retirement, we are losing a personality who significantly shaped Messe München and its future. Mr. Dittrich was a driving force behind the extremely successful expansion of Messe München. By creating such a strong trade fair company, he also did a,tremendous service for Munich and Bavaria. I would like to express my sincere

thanks to him for all of his accomplishments.”

Bavarian Finance Minister Albert Füracker, who serves as a state representative in the shareholder’s meeting and is a member of the Supervisory Board, added: “The name of Mr. Dittrich and the successful growth of Messe München in the past two decades are woven inseparably together. He is leaving behind a smoothly running company. On behalf of the state of Bavaria in its role as a Messe München shareholder, I would like to thank him for all of the successful work he did for a key state-owned holding company. I would also like to wish the two new co-CEOs much success as they lead Messe München into the future.”

Klaus Dittrich said there was no secret to his leadership style: “The foundation of our success was always good teamwork. You have to work hand in hand with many others to lead a company to higher and higher levels of success year after year: with our customers on the exhibitor and visitor side, with all of our partners in the Messe München network, with our shareholders and with our employees. They were also the ones who enabled us to take on the pandemic-fueled crisis and emerge from it in a strengthened position. I would really like to thank all of them for their hard work.”

Growth in core business

Under the leadership of Klaus Dittrich, the new fairgrounds in Munich-Riem were completed in 2018 with the opening of Halls C5 and C6 and the Conference Center North. The fairgrounds now consist of 18 halls with 200,000 square meters of exhibition space and 414,000 square meters of outdoor space. As a result of this expansion, bauma, the world’s largest trade fair in terms of area, has a total of 614,000 square meters of space for use. In addition to bauma, ISPO Munich, INHORGENTA and EXPO REAL became undisputed leading trade fairs under the leadership of Klaus Dittrich. The trade fair portfolio expanded as well. In 2019 Europe’s largest outdoor trade fair, OutDoor, was lured from Friedrichshafen to Munich. The latest and most prominent addition was IAA MOBILITY, a trade fair that was organized in 2021 with the German Association of the Automotive Industry for the first time and employed a unique concept in Munich. IAA MOBILITY was the first platform for mobility of the future to place the widest range of modes of transport—from cars and bicycles to digital solutions and urban air mobility—under one umbrella. It also used a format called Open Spaces that was set up in downtown

Munich to introduce broad sections of the city’s population to solutions for mobility of the future.

Above average growth turns company into a global trade fair player

Messe München has also grown internationally over the past 20 years, becoming both a global player and one of the world’s five biggest sales-generating trade fair companies in the process. Its international business now includes a global network of subsidiaries that operate in core international markets and more than 70 representations. About 40 trade fairs devoted to investment goods, technology and consumer goods are now held in Asia, South America and the Middle East. The growth market of China was significantly expanded under Klaus Dittrich’s leadership. It is now the second-largest location of Messe München after Munich. As part of these activities, Klaus Dittrich was named an advisor of the exhibition and convention industry in Shanghai by the Chinese city’s government in February 2016. Smart mix of in-person events and digital products Klaus Dittrich always viewed the digital transformation as an opportunity to more closely network people—even if face-to-face interaction can never be replaced. No matter whether you are talking about augmented or virtual reality, connect apps, digital storytelling formats, open innovation or 365-day platforms, the foundation has been laid, and the digital superstructure continues to rise. Klaus Dittrich believes that trade fairs of the future will meld the best of both worlds, creating a smart mix of inperson events and digital offerings.

A climate-neutral trade fair is not a utopia

Finally, Klaus Dittrich committed Messe München to the environment by incorporating sustainability goals into the company strategy and laying the foundation for a climate-neutral trade fair. Under this plan, Messe München is to be climate neutral by 2030. As part of this process, a large number of environmental and climate-protection projects are working to make sustainability measurable, prevent waste, close circular systems of resources, create low-carbon internal and external mobility programs and provide customers with carbon-offset opportunities—as was recently demonstrated by the hugely popular Go Green ticket offered for the environmental technology exhibition IFAT Munich.

Co-CEOs to lead Messe München beginning on July 1, 2022

Effective July 1, 2022, Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer (59) and Stefan Rummel (45) will lead Messe München as sole and equal managing directors. Reinhard Pfeiffer has been a member of the Board of Management of Messe München since 2008 and has served as Deputy CEO since 2014. Stefan Rummel has held a managerial position at Messe München since 2010 and became a member of the Board of Management in 2015. Both executives already oversee an extensive share of Messe München’s portfolio.

Munich Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter said: “With Reinhard Pfeiffer and Stefan Rummel serving as co-CEOs, Messe München has the best-possible management team. These two executives will write the next chapters in the company’s success story and also head in new directions.”

Aiwanger and Reiter added: “The trade fair business is a business about the future—we wish the two new co-CEOs good luck and are looking forward to continuing our working relationship with them.”

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Press contacts

Dr. Holger Feist
Chief Strategy Officer and Company Spokesman
Am Messesee 2
81829
München
+49 89 949-20030
presse@messe-muenchen.de
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