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CEO of Baselworld Owner MCH Resigns

René Kamm quits after Swatch Group snubs annual show.
Aug 5, 2018 8:12 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... René Kamm has stepped down as CEO of MCH Group, the parent company of Baselworld, less than a week after Swatch Group said it would no longer be attending the annual watch and jewelry show.

Kamm (pictured) reached the joint decision with the board “in view of the fundamental transformation phase” in the company’s operations, MCH said Friday. The executive has been with MCH for nearly 20 years, joining in 1999 as the director of Baselworld, and had been group CEO since 2003.

Last week, Swatch Group, the fair’s largest exhibitor, announced it would not come to the 2019 edition of the event. Nick Hayek, CEO of the 18-brand group, cited the show’s inability to keep up with changes in the industry, and described the fair’s management as “a little bit arrogant and snobby” in a CNBC interview.

Kamm will advise MCH over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition. Ulrich Vischer, chairman of its board, will lead the company until it finds a replacement.

The latest change comes after Sylvie Ritter left her position as managing director of Baselworld in May, a post she had held for 15 years.

MCH’s share price has fallen 13% since Swatch Group announced its move.

“The decision by Swatch Group not to participate in Baselworld 2019 will have an effect on the results for 2019 that are as yet inestimable,” MCH said.
Tags: basel, Baselworld, MCH Group, Nick Hayek, Rapaport News, René Kamm, swatch group, Sylvie Ritter, Ulrich Vischer
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