UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry, is very pleased to announce it selected a new managing director.
Currently vice president, digital business & entertainment at Messe Frankfurt, Kai Hattendorf will join UFI this autumn and take over when the current managing director, Paul Woodward, steps down in mid-November.
Hattendorf was selected from a wide international field of candidates in a process led by the UFI President Andrés Lopez-Valderrama and his Executive Committee, and supported by the international search firm, Heidrick & Struggles. Senior executives from over 15 countries around the world were considered for the position, which involves daily management of all UFI activities and responsibility for the teams working in its three offices in Paris, Hong Kong and Sharjah.
Lopez-Valderrama commented, following the announcement to a meeting of UFI’s Board of Directors at its Istanbul meeting on June 15, “I am personally very pleased with the quality of candidates we saw and in particular that we have been able to recruit a senior executive of Kai’s caliber to lead UFI. His experience at one of the world’s leading exhibition companies and as a seasoned communications professional will be critical in leading UFI on to address the challenges and opportunities our industry faces.”
Hattendorf said, “I’m looking forward to joining UFI later this year and to continue the great work Paul and the dedicated team have done in the past years. Change in the exhibition industry is accelerating. As the global voice of our industry, UFI is in a unique position to support its members all around the world in addressing these changes.”
Hattendorf joins UFI from Messe Frankfurt Group where he has held various senior executive positions over the past years including overseeing tradeshows, digital business, communications and marketing. His previous career includes leadership positions in marketing/strategic communications as well as strategy and product development in the ITC and media industry for Deutsche Telekom Group, dpa (the German Presse Agency) and a start-up.
A journalist by education, Hattendorf has reported internationally and worked for the WDR and Radio Bremen broadcasters in Germany, the BBC in the UK and the Voice of America. He holds a master’s degree from American University, Washington, D.C. He also studied in Dortmund and Edinburgh.