CEO of Baselworld steps down

Kamm was director of the MCH Group which organises the world's largest watch fair in Basel since 2003. Keystone

The head of the world’s largest watch and jewellery trade show, the Swiss-based Baselworld, has handed in his resignation amid a row over the departure of several exhibitors.

This content was published on August 3, 2018

The MCH Group announced that CEO René Kamm would resign from his position “in view of the fundamental transformation phase in business operations”.

During his nearly 20 years with MCH Group, Kamm played a crucial role in developing the Basel trade fair and positioned the company on new foundations,” according to a statementExternal link released on Friday.

The move follows criticism over the approach of the annual Basel fair. This year’s edition saw the number of exhibitors drop by 50% amid stable attendance.

Last Sunday, Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek announced his company would withdraw from Baselworld, as “traditional watch exhibitions are no longer useful for Swatch”. The group includes such brands as Breguet, Omega, Harry Winston, Longines and Rado.

Previously several other watchmakers have withdrawn from Baselworld – including Hermès, Ulysse Nardin and Girard-Perregaux – and have instead joined the international luxury watch show in Geneva (SIHH).

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