Global trade fair association UFI has selected Kai Hattendorf, VP of digital business and entertainment at German exhibition organiser and venue Messe Frankfurt, as its new managing director.
Hattendorf (pictured) joins Paris-based UFI in the autumn, and takes the reins from outgoing MD Paul Woodward, who steps down after the association’s annual congress in Milan in November.
“I’m looking forward to continuing the great work Paul and the dedicated team have done in the past years,” said Hattendorf.
The Messe Frankfurt VP, who also chairs the EMECA Digital committee was selected from an international field of 15 candidates in a process led by UFI’s Colombian president Andrés Lopez-Valderrama and his executive committee.
His appointment was supported by the international senior recruitment firm Heidrick & Struggles.
The post involves daily management of all UFI activities and responsibility for the teams working in its three offices in Paris, Hong Kong and Sharjah.
Commenting on the appointment, Lopez-Valderrama said Hattendorf’s experience at one of the world’s leading exhibition companies and as a seasoned communications professional would be “critical in leading UFI on to address the challenges and opportunities our industry faces”.
Hattendorf was educated as a journalist and has years of experience reporting internationally through positions at the BBC in the UK, WDR and Radio Bremen broadcasters in Germany, and the Voice of America.
He holds a Masters degree from American University, Washington, DC. He also studied in Dortmund and Edinburgh.