Publicis Groupe Appoints First Chairman of the Middle East

Raja Trad was formerly CEO of the creative communications hub for the region

Raja Trad will oversee Middle East region as Publicis transitions to a more unified country leadership model. Courtesy of Publicis Groupe
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Publicis Groupe announced today that it appointed its first chairman of the Middle East region—Raja Trad.

Trad, who was named CEO of Publicis Communications MEA in 2016, will now oversee all of the holding company’s operations in the region, including the creative communications hub he most recently led, Publicis Media and Publicis.Sapient, according to today’s announcement.

Trad’s appointment is part of Publicis transitioning to its new Country Leadership Model. As part of a larger restructuring sparked in 2015 that divided Publicis brands into divisions—Publicis Communications, Publicis Media, Publicis.Sapient, Publicis Healthcare and later Publicis Spine—the holding company began positioning country leaders to oversee all of those divisions in their respective areas. Agathe Bousquet, president of Publicis Groupe in France, was the first to be appointed in April.

Publicis said Trad’s responsibilities will include driving greater integration across the network’s capabilities, attracting and retaining new and existing clients, cultivating the best talent across its agencies and improving its resources management across disciplines and solutions.

“I would like to thank the Groupe for continuing to repose their trust in me,” Trad said in a statement. “It has been a 37-year journey and every moment has been a learning. As a team, we have achieved a lot during these years by single-mindedly keeping our clients at the core of all that we do and continuing to build a team of talented men and women who love what they do.”

He added, “It will be my endeavor in the coming years to accelerate the collaboration cross our solution hubs and all of their agencies in the region, working seamlessly with our leadership team, for the benefit of our clients’ brands and businesses.”

Trad started his career at Leo Burnett in 1981 and worked his way up to CEO of Leo Burnett Middle East in 1991, before taking the helm of Publicis Communications MEA.

He will report to Loris Nold, CEO of Publicis APAC (Asia-Pacific), and receive support from Alex Saber, chairman of Publicis Media Middle East, and Kareem Monem, regional managing director of Publicis.Sapient MENA (Middle East and North Africa).

“I am incredibly excited with Raja’s appointment,” Nold said in a statement. “He and I have partnered for years now and I am very confident that he will successfully drive our Groupe agenda in this complex, exciting and highly strategic region.”

Nold continued: “Our strategy relies on two very important pillars: a solution-led approach and a country-led approach. This to ensure that we accelerate on our global game changers while driving the acceleration at country level. The Power of One has generated some great examples of collaboration in the Middle East and it has transformed the way we work with our clients while bringing great opportunities to our talents. We are already seeing the first benefits of this organization, and with Raja at the helm, working closely with Alex and Kareem, we have the right team and the right model to accelerate in the region.”

@kitten_mouse Lindsay Rittenhouse is a staff writer at Adweek, where she specializes in covering the world of agencies and their clients.