Ashkar out as Saatchi pushes ahead with expansion plans

Another day and another announcement from Saatchi & Saatchi MENA:

Having been installed as the regional network’s CEO in October 2008, Elias Ashkar ‘resigned’ his post  late last week as the agency finalised its restructuring plans for 2010.

Ashkar’s departure represents the latest manouvre in what has been a fundamental re-jig for the operation in the Middle East; the Dubai office’s entire top tier of management has been replaced over the past 12 months.

Simon Francis, Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “Elias came in to instigate the restructuring of Saatchi & Saatchi in the MENA region. Thanks to him, this initial phase is now complete and our strategic objectives have been fulfilled. I want to personally thank Elias for his tremendous contribution to the region. We are now in an excellent position to move forward to the next phase.”

Marc Lineveldt, formerly executive creative director  at Fortunepromoseven Dubai, took up Saatchi & Saatchi’s regional creative director post in September 2009.

He now forms a managerial trio, including  Kristine Varma, regional CFO, and Ben Roberts, regional human interests director, that will push ahead with the MENA network’s strategy from its base in Dubai.

Only last month the network announced it was to end its 18-year association with Quantum Holding, its partner in what were formerly its Beirut and Amman offices.

The plan is to create new, wholly-owned Saatchi & Saatchi offices across the region.

It is is believed the first of the new outposts will be known as Saatchi & Saatchi Levant, based in Beirut.

It is not yet known whether Ashkar will be replaced.

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4 Responses to Ashkar out as Saatchi pushes ahead with expansion plans

  1. Moey says:

    Best of luck.

  2. Booyakkasha says:

    good for saatchi, focus on the work and services not the kick-backs

  3. Family guy says:

    One man. One ad agency. Dozens of victims. Elias Ashkar singlehandedly brought down a global name in advertising. Sure, it was already in decline. Yet, now it is not even invited to pitch for the big accounts and has lost some of the accounts it had. Some well deserved ‘time to spend time with the family’ for Elias. Which company will be his next victim?

  4. John Dow says:

    This has been a continued cycle for the last 3 years and I honestly don’t know how the loyal ones stay?

    The only good ones left in my opinion is Roger Kanakri an excellent MD, Ingo Jens the best creative there is and Jihad Hamza who can get everything done!!!

    Here is wishing them a better future than the past they have inherited…

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