Oliver Süme Named the New Chair of the Board of eco – Association of the Internet Industry e.V.

  • Klaus Landefeld becomes Vice Chair of the Board
  • Professor Dr. Norbert Pohlmann and Felix Höger confirmed as Board Members
  • Changes to Articles of Association adopted, with expanded senior management and new Presidium from January

Cologne, 27 November 2017 – Oliver Süme is the new Chairman of the Board at eco – Association of the Internet Industry e.V. The 48-year-old attorney was unanimously elected during the eco Annual General Meeting held in Berlin last Friday, November 24. Süme is successor to Professor Michael Rotert, who represented the association as Chairman for 17 years and chose to step down at the end of his term this year. In future, Rotert will hold the newly-created office of the eco Honorary President. Klaus Landefeld, long-standing Board Member for Infrastructure & Networks, has been elected to the Vice-Chairmanship. Professor Dr. Norbert Pohlmann, Head of the Institute for Internet-Security at the Westfälische Hochschule Gelsenkirchen, and Felix Höger, Board Member for Technology and Operations at QSC AG and Chair of the Supervisory Board of the DE-CIX Group AG, were also confirmed in their positions on the eco Board.

“I wish to thank the members of eco for their trust, and Michael Rotert for his tremendous services for the association over the last 17 years,” Süme said. According to Süme, the Internet has, in recent years, developed into an essential growth driver in the ICT sector, and the Internet industry is one of the most important innovation engines for almost all industry sectors in Germany. “Digital transformation is no longer a trend – it is a fact that is fundamentally transforming all areas of our lives. Unfortunately, we are currently experiencing a great deal of skepticism with regard to digital technology, both in German politics and in society as a whole. Germany has great potential as a digital location, but so far this has not been sufficiently utilized,” he continued. He sees his most important tasks to be the reestablishment and strengthening of trust in the Internet sector and digital technologies, and bringing politicians and companies into a constructive dialog on the opportunities that digitalization offers. “We must not allow ourselves to be content with the role of stragglers: we must have the ambition of becoming digital leaders. But this means that in the coming years we have a massive amount to do in many areas to catch up. The first thing here is the expansion of digital infrastructures in Germany, which includes the political strengthening of infrastructure operators like data centers. At least as important is the reform of our education system, in order to develop digital competencies and talents early in life. But we must also support technologies of the future, such as Blockchain, more consistently, and abolish regulatory obstacles. Those are my main goals – at the same time, they are tasks that the new German federal government should be addressing as soon as possible.”

Oliver Süme has represented eco since 2000 as Board Member for Policy & Law and Vice-Chairman of the Board. Since 1997, he has been active in Hamburg as an Attorney for IT law, and he is a Partner in the international law firm Fieldfisher. Süme is also Co-Founder of the Hamburg Top-Level-Domain GmbH (Registry for “.hamburg”) and President of the European Provider Association EuroISPA in Brussels.

As well as electing the new Board, the eco AGM has also adopted new Articles of Association. Among other things, these provide for an expansion of the senior management. From 1 January 2018, Alexander Rabe, the current Head of the eco Capital Office in Berlin, will be appointed as a second CEO alongside Harald Summa, until now the sole CEO of the eco Association.

A newly-created Presidium will advise the Board and Senior Management from 2018. The members of the Presidium will be announced in 2018.

eco, ( with more than 1,000 member organizations, is the largest Internet industry association in Europe. Since 1995, the eco Association has been instrumental in the development of the Internet in Germany, fostering new technologies, infrastructures and markets, and forming framework conditions. In the Competence Network, important specialists and decision makers of the Internet industry are represented, and current and future Internet topics are driven forward.

Further Information: eco – Association of the Internet Industry Capital Office, Französische Straße 48, 10117 Berlin, Phone: +49. 030 / 20 21 567 – 0, Email:, Web:

Press Contact: Sidonie Krug, Phone: +49 030 / 2021567-19, Email:


Oliver Süme