Hubert Boulos is to take over as the CEO of DDB Middle East on 1 October.
The ad veteran will replace Ajay Shrikhande, who has been the agency’s CEO since early 2012, having joined DDB following the merger with Brandcom in 2010. It is understood that Shrikhande is to retire at the end of the year, with Boulos and Shrikhande to work alongside each other for a few months to ensure a smooth transition. Boulos will report to Pietro Tramontin, CEO of DDB Europe, Middle East and Africa.
The move means a return to DDB for Boulos. He was previously managing director at MAC DDB Qatar but has been head of planning for the Middle East and North Africa at JWT for the past three years.
“As well as holding an excellent new business record, Hubert has a real understanding of the market. His strategic background will help us to further solidify our commitment to effectiveness, and makes him a perfect fit for the role,” said Tramontin.
Boulos added: “When DDB approached me, I felt it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the kind of offer you just cannot refuse. In addition, I am joining the agency at a very exciting time, for which I feel that my strategic background will be highly appropriate.”
DDB’s recent history has been punctuated by mergers and staff changes. Shrikhande moved into the role of CEO following the stepping down of Babu Subramaniam as managing director at the beginning of last year. The departure of Subramaniam was mirrored by the exit of Paul Joseph, who had headed up the agency’s activation and BTL work. The changes followed the merger of TD&A DDB, Gulf Promoaction DDB and Brandcom into one entity at the end of 2010, with Najam Khawaja, formerly CEO of DDB, becoming executive chairman of the merged agency.
In February this year Dominic Gothard, a founder of Face to Face, took on the role of senior vice-president, but left in June.