Hamburg Messe’s Bernd Aufderheide retires

After a 20-year tenure at the top of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH (HMC), Bernd Aufderheide (64) will retire at year’s end.

In an emotional celebration at the newly-modernised CCH – Congress Center Hamburg, guests from the business world and politics, along with employees, said Goodbye to the long-standing chief executive officer.

Hamburg’s first mayor, Dr Peter Tschentscher, and Hamburg’s state senator for economic affairs, Melanie Leonhard personally thanked Aufderheide for his achievements in support of the city’s trade fair and congress business.

Aufderheide joined the company on 1 January 2004 as CEO of the CCH – Congress Center Hamburg before being appointed chairman of the Managing Board. During his career at HMC, Bernd Aufderheide worked with four different mayors and six senators for economic affairs.

Apart from his work to expand the organisation’s trade fair and congress portfolio, the opening of the enlarged exhibition campus in 2008 as well as two expansion and modernisation projects at the CCH – Congress Center Hamburg, in 2007 and from 2017 to 2022 respectively, were milestones of Aufderheid tenure.

The exhibition halls in recent years have also temporarily accommodated Europe’s largest charity clothing bank and Germany’s largest vaccination centre. 

From 1 January 2024, Uwe Fischer and Heiko M. Stutzinger will head HMC as co-CEOs.


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