Vatche Keverian has been named JWT’s new CEO for the Middle East and North Africa.
The move follows former CEO and chairman Roy Haddad’s appointment as parent company WPP’s first ever director for the Middle East and North Africa last month. Haddad, who is based in Beirut, is now responsible for coordinating WPP’s operations in the region, although he retains his role as chairman of JWT MEA.
In his new role, Keverian will lead JWT’s “vision and goals, leveraging best practices and talent in the interest of JWT’s clients and brands”.
“Vatche Keverian is a 20-year veteran of JWT, taking the JWT Dubai helm in 1997, leading its growth into the largest office in MENA and the regional hub for multinational clients like HSBC, Kraft, Nestlé and Nokia,” said Haddad. “He launched JWT Bahrain in 2003. Recently, he has been instrumental in successfully establishing the two newest JWT teams in Qatar and Iraq. Keverian has JWT running through his DNA. Bob [Jeffrey, chairman and CEO of JWT Worldwide] and I look forward to watching him continue to build JWT’s presence in MENA.”
In addition, Chris von Selle, JWT Africa COO, will continue to drive JWT’s development agenda throughout the continent, securing investment opportunities and managing organic growth for the agency. “This will further strengthen JWT’s capabilities in this dynamic and exciting continent of Africa,” added Haddad.
Keverian began his career at Publigraphics before moving to TMI (now JWT) in 1992. Under the new structure, both Keverian and von Selle will continue to report to Haddad.
Haddad’s appointment last month is a reflection of the MENA region’s growing importance for WPP, with MENA revenues (including associates) amounting to $400 million and 3,800 people. As well as JWT, WPP’s other agencies in the region include Y&R, Memac Ogilvy, Grey Worldwide, BPG, Asda’a Burson-Marsteller and Hill & Knowlton, as well as media agencies MEC, MediaCom, Mindshare and Maxus, all of whom fall under the GroupM umbrella.