Steve Anastasiadis, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi’s Dubai operation, is quitting the agency to return to his native Australia.
His decision represents the latest in a string of high level changes at the agency, which is in the midst of a serious restructure following the arrival of Elias Ashkar as CEO for the Middle East and North Africa last October.
Ed Jones, the network’s former regional creative director, left the agency on what he described as “good terms” in January, but it had become clear that there was no place for him in the new set up instigated by Ashkar, who has the backing of London-based Simon Francis, CEO for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Anastasiadis (pictured), who joined Saatchi & Saatchi’s Dubai outfit in August 2006, said he is due to leave at the end of the month and will be back in Sydney the following week. “I’m looking at a few things in Sydney which I can’t confirm yet, but I’m basically going back home,” he said. “I’ve been here nearly three years and the family was keen to move back. My wife has been offered a position back at an investment bank, and I’ve been talking to people in Australia for a while.”
It is not yet known who will replace Anastasiadis, but he said, “there will be a whole new structure, a whole new team, and a new era”.
Recent arrivals include Joseph Attallah, who joined as chief strategy officer for the MENA region in January, and Danny Higgins, who is the Dubai office’s new creative director.
Jones is due to leave Dubai this week in order to take up a new position as executive creative director of Publicis Groupe in Croatia.