In an unexpected move, Carole Hayek, the former General Manager of Optimedia Beirut recently joined MCN’s Magna for a similar managerial role. In this Q&A, she explains why her decision was necessarily overdue.
Why, after heading Optimedia for over a decade, did you decide to leave?
Leaving the company I have established and managed for 12 years felt like abandoning my own baby! However, when I realised the need for a change, the power of detachment pushed me into action. It is not easy to leave your comfort zone, especially without receiving the much deserved remuneration for time spent in service!
The motivations based on such a decision vary and usually fit into five categories: looking for more power, better financial packages, appreciation, independence, and/or security. In my case, the move was driven by the desire for new challenges.
During my career with Publi-Graphics, then with Publicis, I was always moving up the ladder, which changed when in 2004 we established Optimedia as a separate entity from Publicis-Graphics. Sadly, within Publicis’ current structure, there no longer was room for me to move up, or even sideways. As a result, my choice was to take a ‘lateral’ move to MCN group in the same capacity. Today, as general manager of Magna, part of MCN group, I feel more confident and happy with my choice.
What role does agency culture play and how does the former compare to the latter?
Each company has its own culture and I respect each one fully. The most important thing is to be able to understand it and to feel integrated.
What have been the greatest challenges faced during all these years at the helm of Optimedia and what do you believe will be your next biggest challenge?
I faced many challenges, the first was to create an identity for Optimedia as a separate entity from the creative agency at that time known as Publicis-Graphics.
The second was to drive the team and the business safely, during the transitional phase of the acquisition period of Optimedia by Publicis. In other words, the challenge was to successfully guide the team and help them to comply with the new company’s rules and regulations, without affecting the outcome within the changing and unstable environment. My next big challenge is to place the new rising star ‘Magna’ on the map of top MBUs in Lebanon.