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Koelnmesse appoints Oliver Frese as the new Chief Operating Officer

The former member of the Board of Deutsche Messe AG is to assume his new position at the beginning of the year

Oliver Frese will be taking on the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Koelnmesse. At its meeting on 25 November 2019, the trade fair company’s Supervisory Board decided in favour of the 52-year-old, who served as a member of the Management Board of Deutsche Messe AG in Hanover until the end of 2018. As COO on the three-member Management Board in Cologne, he will be responsible for the operative development of Koelnmesse’s event portfolio. Frese starts on 1 January 2020.

“With Oliver Frese, we have gained an extremely experienced trade fair manager and an authentic leader who we trust will be able to integrate new events as well as further develop Cologne’s traditional trade fairs to meet the requirements of the modern trade fair business,” said Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board and Cologne’s Mayor Henriette Reker following the committee’s decision.

Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse, agrees: “With Oliver Frese, a dynamic and recognised trade fair professional is coming to Cologne, who has experienced all the facets of the rapidly transforming trade fair industry in his successful career to date. I am looking forward to working with him in the management team to continue our success story.”

Frese can look back on 14 years of service with Deutsche Messe AG. Prior to his board position, he was responsible for the Hannover Messe, the world’s most important industrial trade fair, until 2013. On the Management Board, he was responsible for Technology, Gastronomy and Services, as well as the ICT & Digital Business Events competence area and all public trade fairs at the Hanover site.

“I am looking forward to working with a highly professional and experienced team to further develop Koelnmesse’s strong position in the international trade fair market and to further expand Cologne as a hotspot for innovative trade fair and event concepts,” says Oliver Frese of his new position.

As COO, Oliver Frese completes Koelnmesse’s management trio alongside Gerald Böse, who as CEO and president is responsible for corporate strategy, corporate development and international business, and Herbert Marner (CFO), who is responsible for technical and financial matters. Frese succeeds Katharina Hamma, who left the company at the end of 2018.

About Koelnmesse

With around 850 employees worldwide, Koelnmesse generated sales of over 337 million euro in 2018 and is targeting more than 400 million euro for the first time in 2019. As a city-centre trade fair in the middle of Europe, it occupies the third largest exhibition site in Germany and, with 384,000 m² of hall and outdoor space, is among the top ten in the world. Every year, Koelnmesse organises and supports around 80 trade fairs, guest events and special events in Cologne and the most important markets worldwide. With its portfolio, it reaches over 55,000 exhibitors from 126 countries and over 3.2 million visitors from more than 200 nations. By 2030, Koelnmesse will be investing around 700 million euro in the future of the exhibition grounds within the framework of the most extensive investment programme in its history.