Publicis Media has announced that there will be new leadership at its largest agency in MENA region, Starcom. Racha Makarem will take the reins of Starcom as regional CEO as of January 1, 2019. The announcement came from Alex Saber, chairman, Publicis Media.
In a statement, Publicis said: “As a business, we understand the complex transformation our clients are going through to capture profitable growth and build relevance in the fast evolving landscape of tomorrow. It is with this in mind that Publicis Media has invested in transformative talent to build our capabilities across strategy, digital, data, analytics and insights, which drive more informed business decisions.”
Throughout her 15 years within Publicis Media, Makarem has been integral in shaping how those investments deliver for clients, said the agency. Previously, as head of the analytics and insights practice, and more recently as managing director of the data science practice, Makarem’s focus has been towards the future, where the market will be tomorrow, how consumers will want to engage, and how best each brand can elevate its consumer experience. The agency says she has continually delivered results-driven solutions based on the complex insights of data across the entire Publicis Media client portfolio.
It said: “Rasha’s passion for the industry and consumers has led her to collaborate closely with industry bodies to enhance and set measurement guidelines and principles. She is currently a board member at IAB MENA, and was a technical consultant with JIC for audience measurement in the region.
“It is with this proven success that Racha takes on Starcom leadership to continue to build on the winning momentum of the agency to deliver against the increasing demand for data and an actionable people-based ecosystem.
“Rasha’s values and behaviours will continue to fuel our collaborative relationships with client teams and unlock future growth. As a leader, Racha will elevate the passion and collaborative spirit of Starcom to ignite a contagious sense of purpose and results driven change. Racha’s performance led philosophy will foster a culture that is open sourced, collaborative, driven and motivated.”
“After a thorough and rigorous search process I am delighted to appoint Racha Makarem as Starcom MENA’s Regional CEO. Racha has a solid and significant experience within Publicis Media and has continuously worked with Starcom’s clients as part of her previous role as Head of the Analytics & Insights Practice. In a world of rapid change, I am confident that Racha will fuel more transformation into our clients’ businesses and help them overcome their challenges.” said Alex Saber, chairman of Publicis Media in MENA. He continued: “She is an inspiring leader with a strong history of creating highly engaged teams. I look forward to working with her to continue the exceptional growth of our Starcom business.”
Commenting on her new role, Makarem said: “Over the past 15 years, my expertise has been in helping our clients solve complex business problems from the lens of the consumer, mining data and delivering actionable insights. Previously, as the head of the Publicis media data and science practice, my role was to build this expertise across our network and client teams, fuelling marketing transformation in an age where data is prevalent.
“As the largest agency in MENA, Starcom has always been at the front of the market, incubating businesses and practices to solve for the dynamic world in which we operate. In my role as CEO, I will accelerate this momentum, ensuring that we continue to shape the industry. My priorities leading Starcom, the human experience company, are: to work closely with our clients to create real solutions that accelerate their growth; to leverage actionable data and technology to deliver marketing transformation; and to invest in our people who will drive the capabilities around data, technology and performance to propel the growth of our clients’ business in today’s digital economy. We have never faced a more dynamic time to be in our business and I’m excited to be at the helm of Starcom, leading into tomorrow.”
Makarem will report into Steve Parker, CEO of Publicis Media in MENA, and Alex Saber, chairman of Publicis Media in MENA.