Meta announced the appointment of Fares Akkad as the new regional director of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, effective March 1, 2022. In this role, Fares will design and lead the commercial growth of the company and its portfolio of apps, services and businesses across MENA.
Derya Matras, Vice President, Middle East, Africa and Turkey at Meta, said: “The impact of the Middle East and North Africa region – from its wealth of communities, start-ups, partners and people who actively use our platforms to do good, every day – cannot be overstated and needs someone with both in-depth regional and industry knowledge and expertise to allow it to reach its full potential. The global and regional experience that Fares brings, within Meta and otherwise, is going to be a catalyst that will serve to drive our business forward and foster an environment that allows our platforms to be a place of positive growth and impact, as we continue to build toward the Metaverse. I am extremely excited as to what the future holds for this region.”
Fares was most recently the Director of Media Partnerships for News in Growth Markets at Meta, supporting journalists and publishers in embedding a sustainable business model in the digital age. Prior to Meta, Fares led digital business development and distribution for MBC Group, joining the group after over a decade in management consulting in both the region and the United States [US]. Entrepreneurship remains a passion for Fares, having started, funded and exited several startups in MENA and the US – he remains an active advisor and investor in the startup scene.
Commenting on the appointment, Fares said: “What we’ve seen over the past few years is the real impact of digital transformation, the understanding of what a shift to a digital-first approach means to both people and businesses and how it has helped economies not only survive but grow. I am honoured and excited to be able to work with the rest of the incredible Meta team in MENA to help further embed the importance of this transformation and afford people throughout the region every opportunity to create, succeed and grow.”