IFA announces new leadership

From 1 October 2023, Leif-Erik Lindner will join IFA Management GmbH as the new Managing Director.  With this personnel appointment, the company is continuing its course of creating new impulses in the trade show business while planning for the long term.

“We are delighted that Leif-Erik Lindner will be joining our management team”, says Lisa Hannant, Chief Executive Officer at Clarion Ltd. “His industry knowledge, sales experience and approach to large-scale projects will make a valuable contribution to further strengthening our position as the leading global trade show in our industry.”

Leif-Erik Lindner will succeed current managing director Oliver Merlin, who has been leading IFA Management GmbH on an interim basis since November 2022 alongside co-Managing Director, Jörg Arntz, who is responsible for human resources, operations and finance. 

Oliver Merlin has been in charge of building a team at IFA Management GmbH, while being responsible not only for the existing business but also the change management of the entire IFA project. He has been very successful with these tasks: In addition to established elements that are to be expanded, such as the start-up area IFA Next, he and his team developed and added new features such as The Sustainability Village, #BerlinTechWeek, an eSports Arena and the completely redesigned conference format IFA Leaders Summit.

Together with Jörg Arntz, Oliver Merlin will oversee the planning and execution of the 2023 edition. Leif-Erik Lindner will join IFA Management GmbH on 1 July 2023 and, following his induction, will then take over responsibility for the planning and implementation of IFA Berlin 2024. Oliver Merlin will move into a Strategy role leading on future strategy and transformation of the IFA brand.

Leif-Erik Lindner worked for Samsung Electronics Germany for more than 15 years, most recently as Vice President for Consumer Electronics. He not only brings extensive industry expertise of more than 25 years altogether, but also leadership experience to head a large team in multicultural settings.

“Oliver Merlin is doing a great job to set the course for the future direction of IFA. His motto Evolution not Revolution gives the team and now also Leif-Erik Lindner the space to sustainably shape our event for the long term”, Dr. Sara Warneke, managing director of gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH, owner of the IFA brand, points out. “Leif has an excellent network both nationally and internationally in this industry which will be of great value to the IFA project.” 

Together with gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH, Clarion Ltd. founded IFA Management GmbH as a joint venture in autumn 2022. Its task is to plan and develop IFA – the world’s largest trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances – and to hold it annually in Berlin. IFA 2023 will take place from 1 to 5 September at the Messe Berlin Exhibition Grounds.

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