Memac Ogilvy announces new regional leadership team

The integrated creative network Memac Ogilvy has announced a new regional leadership team in its Public Relations and Influence capability. The appointments include a new regional director and three new country leads who will run operations across the GCC.

Ashraf Shakah, former Saudi Arabia lead for the network, steps up into the regional director role following the retirement of industry veteran and long-time Memac Ogilvy regional director Saada Hammad.

Peter Bellini, UAE, Chris Hayes, Qatar, and Dan Wilson, Bahrain and Kuwait, make up the rest of the leadership team, alongside existing senior talent across North Africa and the Levant.

The new hires bring a wealth of strategic government communications experience with them. Memac Ogilvy is seeking to drive further growth in the public and government sectors, and support complex transformational projects across the region.

Shakah, awarded the role following a successful term in Saudi Arabia, which saw impressive growth across government and private sector industries, will be based in Dubai, UAE. His focus will be on boosting expertise across the region, working alongside Public Relations and Influence leaders across the Middle East and North Africa to deliver unique integrated communications and drive earned influence that makes brands matter.

Former regional director Saada Hammad is retiring following a successful career in the public relations industry. Hammad joined Memac Ogilvy a decade ago in February 2010, following her role as communications director for global automotive giant General Motors in the Middle East.

In the past 10 years, Hammad expanded Memac Ogilvy’s regional offering significantly, delivering its PR capabilities in 10 markets by 2015 — the widest footprint of the region’s global agencies.

Patou Nuytemans, Chief Executive, Memac Ogilvy said, “Over the last 10 years our Public Relations and Influence offering has grown rapidly across the region. These appointments reflect our ambitions for further growth in the corporate, government, and public affairs sectors. This will complement our leading position in the consumer sector and help us further realize our goal to provide integrated content strategies, ideas and execution above and beyond anything in the market. Thanks to our unique offering of deep PR capabilities fully integrated within a creative agency, we are well-placed to unlock earned influence for all stakeholder groups as a modern marketing powerhouse.”

Speaking on his appointment Ashraf Shakah, Regional Director PR & Influence, Memac Ogilvy said, “I look forward to partnering with our leaders and incredible talent to earn influence for our clients across the region. We are fully focused on delivering this thanks to our unique positioning and fully integrated offering, which places dynamic and effective content and ideation strategies at the heart of what we do. In today’s complex environment, we’re focused on achieving cultural relevance for our clients, delivering long-term influence to make brands matter.”

Peter Bellini joins Memac Ogilvy from Edelman where he worked across major global centers including London, Delhi, Jakarta, and Abu Dhabi.  With a background in political communications, Peter led Public Affairs and Reputation teams before joining Memac Ogilvy to head up PR & Influence in the UAE.

Chris Hayes, an Edelman veteran of 15 years, relocates from Washington DC, where he headed the International Affairs, Corporate Affairs and Global Market Entry capability. He joins Memac Ogilvy as head of PR & Influence in Qatar.

Dan Wilson returns to the Ogilvy family from Porter Novelli in New York to head up PR & Influence in Bahrain and Kuwait. He brings more than a decade of experience in Corporate and Public Affairs to the role.