Roy Haddad has been named WPP’s first ever director for the Middle East and North Africa.
Haddad, who is based in Beirut, will be responsible for co-ordinating WPP’s operations in the region and will retain his role as chairman of JWT MEA. He will, however, step back from his executive responsibilities at JWT. It is not yet known who will replace him as the agency’s MEA CEO.
WPP’s MENA revenues (including associates) currently amount to $400 million and 3,800 people. The appointment of Haddad is a direct result of the region’s increased importance, with WPP applying greater focus to the region through its creation of Haddad’s role.
“MENA is an increasingly important region for WPP and I am delighted to take on this role at a time of such expansion,” said Haddad. “WPP agencies are already the destination of choice for companies seeking the best possible marketing and communications services in the region. A key part of my job will be to leverage our collective strength in order to provide even greater value for our clients.”
He added: “The purpose of the role is to coordinate WPP’s operations in the region. In particular I’ll be focusing on people, clients and acquisitions: making sure we have the region’s best talent; looking out for MENA companies that will become major world players; and identifying likely acquisition prospects. I’ll [also] be helping WPP agencies to develop best practices and their offerings, including within GroupM. ‘Horizontality’ – the sharing of knowledge and cooperating across company boundaries for the benefit of our clients – is one of our key strategic priorities.”
GroupM, WPP’s consolidated media investment management operation, is the parent company for media agencies such as MEC, MediaCom, Mindshare and Maxus. WPP’s other agencies in the region include Y&R, Memac Ogilvy, Grey Worldwide, BPG, Asda’a Burson-Marsteller and Hill & Knowlton.
Haddad began his advertising career in 1977, prior to setting up his own business in London in 1984. In 1987, his agency signed an association agreement with JWT. Subsequently, JWT acquired majority equity. As well as his chairman’s role at JWT MEA, Haddad is also chairman of the board at sister media agencies Mindshare and MediaCom.
Filed Under: 2.News
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