Staff cuts made but Riyadh office not closing, says Grey director

The regional director of Grey’s Saudi Arabia operation has denied rumours that the agency’s Riyadh office is in the process of closing down.

lawandosMarc Lawandos (pictured) confirmed that a number of staff had been made redundant and that more could follow, but said there were no plans to close the office. “These rumours are faster than the speed of light but the truth of the matter is that the Riyadh office will not be closing,” he said.

Lawandos declined to specify numbers but said the office’s headcount had to be reduced to cut costs in the wake of the economic downturn. “We have had to make some unfortunate decisions,” he said. “These guys work hard, they are dedicated and they invest a lot of time in our business.

“But the backbone [of the Riyadh office] was mainly real estate and finance and with the economic hit these guys froze their budgets, and accordingly we have had to lay off the teams working on those accounts.”

The Riyadh operation has been far worse hit by the financial crisis than the agency’s Jeddah office, whose portfolio is mainly in the FMCG sector.

Lawandos said attempts to diversify the client base of the Riyadh office were now under way, with a number of pitches being pursued. “We need to secure a significant win that would put us back on track but until then we may need to lose more people,” he said. “These guys are like a family to us so we give them options. If someone has an opportunity elsewhere he is welcome to leave.”

He added: “High expectations are set for post-Ramadan. We will just have to wait and see but we are working really hard to get some business in.”

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3 Responses to Staff cuts made but Riyadh office not closing, says Grey director

  1. Ali says:

    Isn’t it the story of every office now! my only fear is that it only started to get really ugly and bad the last couple of months. The vibe in the industry at the moment as if the crises just hit the region. while it has been a while since it started everywhere in the world, only recently the people in ME agencies started to feel the heat. and it feels like it is picking up now. I believe it is lack of management experience and foresight. they have been waiting and waiting and now the boat will sink with everyone on board!

    however and unfortunately it has been also used as an excuse by clients and agencies to solve their internal/external problems, and this shows the unfortunate professionalism of management in this region.

  2. N says:

    “High expectations are set for post-Ramadan. We will just have to wait and see but we are working really hard to get some business in.”

    Wait and see….waiting is the enemy of winning.
    In our organization we have eleminated the word “waiting” and beieve or not, it has contributed to our bottomline!
    We use “chasing” instead of “Waiting” and “are going to” as opposed to “are expecting to”.

  3. Viagra says:

    Best wishes and keep posting.

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