Messe Düsseldorf embeds crucial Theme of Digitalisation in the Management Board
Dr. Christian Plenge appointed New Division Director “Digital Strategy and Communication”
CEO Dornscheidt: “Digital strategy determines future business success”
Dr. Christian Plenge, New Division Director “Digital Strategy and Communication”
1 November 2017 saw Messe Düsseldorf GmbH establish a new Division called “Digital Strategy and Communication” to be headed up by the newly appointed Division Director Dr. Christian Plenge (51). In this function Dr. Plenge will be responsible for designing all digital transformation processes at Messe Düsseldorf. These include the development of strategic initiatives to drive the dovetailing of digital approaches with existing business models and to develop new digital-driven business models.
By taking this move in its organisational structure and thereby anchoring this important topic in management, Messe Düsseldorf has underlined its identity as a digital company – something that has been lived out in day-to-day work for a long time already. “By appointing a new Division Director for Digital Strategy and Communication we are underscoring how important we see digitalisation for the future of our company,” explains Werner M. Dornscheidt, President and CEO of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH.
“Messe Düsseldorf has always been a pioneer in digitalisation: from our first trade fair website for drupa in May 1995 to the first Digital Signage Visitor Information System with wayfinding in Germany that we have used since spring this year. Management at Messe Düsseldorf is convinced that a viable digital strategy as well as the matching hard and software for up-to-date digital services will decide on our future business success and secure our position among the top-5 trade fair companies worldwide,” adds Dornscheidt.
Dr. Christian Plenge obtained a PhD from RWTH Aachen with the distinction “summa cum laude”, for which he also received the Friedrich Wilhelm Prize for outstanding scientific achievements, after winning two awards for his diploma as an electrical engineer. In his subsequent career he acquired many years of experience in the strategic and operative management of complex organisations and successfully worked as a product, innovation and IT manager in telecommunications, retail and logistics as well as in strategy consulting.
“I look forward to leveraging my experience for the Düsseldorf trade fair company, whose No. 1 trade fair EuroShop I already know well as both an exhibitor and visitor,” explains Dr. Christian Plenge on his first working day at Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, and goes on to say: “I am aware of the current issues and challenges currently facing trade fair companies in the increasingly digital world and in view of Industry 4.0. To rise to these challenges new solutions must be developed and all technical possibilities exhausted to offer trade fair customers added value and the best service possible.”
Dr. Christian Plenge last served Telefonica Germany GmbH & Co OHG for four years as Director of IT Planning, Demand & Delivery. In this position he was in charge of the implementation and operative control of all IT projects, also in the wake of the acquisition and integration of Telefonica and E-Plus serving as a contact for all Managing Directors and as the central interface between all sales units and IT service providers. Prior to this assignment he was responsible for the same range of functions as Director of Product Development and Process Management at E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH. Earlier positions included a position as Senior Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton and a nine-year division management function at METRO Systems GmbH. As part of this position, Dr. Plenge built up the innovation management of METRO Group and its team designed both the Future Store as a test centre for retail innovations and the RFID Innovation Center. Dr. Plenge is married with three children.
“I am happy that we succeeded in recruiting a proven expert in Dr. Plenge, who has already given proof of his innovative power and leadership qualities in his previous jobs. Dr. Plenge comes with the best prerequisites for continuing Messe Düsseldorf’s successful path of digitalisation and developing new fields of business,” comments Joachim Schäfer, the Managing Director in charge of this new division. Under the guidance of Dr. Plenge the Marketing Services, Press, IT and Inhouse Services departments will be pooled in the new division.