by George Nott

Former Facebook chief chairs CEBIT Australia, as fair flops in Europe

Dec 04, 2018
CareersDigital TransformationGovernment

The former CEO of Facebook Australian and New Zealand has been appointed chairman of technology fair CEBIT Australia.

Stephen Scheeler, who led the social media giant in ANZ from 2013 to 2017 and now runs a consultancy firm, was named as the event’s new chair this morning.

CEBIT Australia organisor HannoverFairs Australia confirmed to Computerworld last week that the event would go ahead as scheduled in October, despite the demise of its parent event in Germany.

The largest global CEBIT event has been held in Hannover, Germany since 1986, but operator Deutsche Messe on Thursday indefinitely cancelled the event there “due to reduced space bookings”.

“Technological developments within the digital economy have reduced demand for horizontal trade shows such as CEBIT in recent years,” Deutsche Messe CEODr. Jochen K?ckler said in a statement.

CEBIT Australia has been held in Sydney since 2001, one of six international satellite events.

Scheeler indicated next year’s show – being held at Sydney’s International Convention Centre – will feature more development opportunities and collaborative events.

“Connections aren’t made wandering the aisles of an exhibition any more, they are made during shared experiences, in the depths of a hackathon, working alongside like-minded individuals to achieve common goals,” Scheeler said.

“The people I observe across my industry want to develop themselves, grow their businesses, solve their challenges, meet that one person that can open the next window of opportunity. I want to drive that opportunity, to create something our industry will thrive on for years to come,” he added.

The NSW Government is confirmed as the ‘official partner’ of the 2019 show as per previous years.

“Everyone in a business now has an involvement with technology whether they’re working in marketing, finance or human resources. There’s also a multitude of new spaces such as agtech, fintech, Industry 4.0 and healthtech so we really want to deliver an unforgettable event that highlights the latest trends and technologies available,” Harvey Stockbridge, managing director of CEBIT Australia, said.