Baselworld Parent Company MCH Names New CEO

Watch and jewelry industry veteran Bernd Stadlwieser (pictured) has been appointed new CEO of the MCH Group, the trade show company that runs the Baselworld fair.

Stadlwieser has 20 years’ experience in both the watch and art industries. (In addition to Baselworld, MCH runs Art Basel.) A native of Austria, he spent 13 years at Swarovski, eventually serving as its vice president of sales and vice president of gemstones, according to his profile on LinkedIn. From there, he joined the Thomas Sabo Group in 2003, first serving as the brand’s managing director for Switzerland and Great Britain, then ascending to group CEO in 2006.

From 2014 to 2017, he served as group CEO of Avenso, which owns a network of art galleries and photo-printing service. He became Mondaine Watch group CEO in December 2017. Ironically, last year, Mondaine sat out the Baselworld fair, though it showed its wares at a nearby location.

He replaces Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, another watch executive who had filled the role on an interim basis since September 2018. Hoejsgaard took over from René Kamm, the longtime Baselworld and MCH veteran who resigned as CEO less than a week after the Swatch Group announced it was pulling out of Baselworld. (Group chairman Ulrich Vischer also briefly served as interim CEO.)

Stadlwieser’s first day has not been set yet, and Hoejsgaard will continue to fill the role until Stadlwieser comes on board.

The change at the top of MCH is not the only change that has seemingly been spurred by the defection of Swatch and other brands from Baselworld. In November, the watch industry’s largest fair convinced 40 local hotels to drop their rates as well as minimum-stay requirements for this year’s show, in response to trade complaints. The following month, Baselworld reached a deal with rival fair Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) to sync up their dates from 2020 to 2024.

(Image courtesy of the MCH Group)

JCK News Director