OMD UAE energizes its continuous transformation with a progressive structure and new roles
Posted on January 12, 2018

OMD continues to anticipate its clients’ and partners’ future needs by introducing several changes to its structure. After announcing the new role of strategic marketing investors (SMIs) to reshape the traditional ‘planning’ and ‘buying’ divisions and encourage a deeper level of singular accountability, the company has reorganized its various disciplines and appointed a new senior management team. The move adds an even greater focus on key aspects of its product and provides more integrated and effective solutions for its growing client roster. 

The new senior management team includes four new general managers (GM), allowing the current business unit directors (BUDs) to operate at an even higher and more strategic level for its clients. Each GM is tasked with the supervision and development of specialized centers of excellence (COEs), such as performance and programmatic, content and experiences, HR and marketing, and e-commerce, while continuing to manage the existing client portfolio.

Waseem Afzal, previously executive director of integrated solutions, is taking on the role of GM of OMD-Transact, the company’s e-commerce arm. With over 13 years of experience in digital media and marketing, Afzal is credited with reshaping the digital strategy for the network and devising effective cutting-edge solutions for key clients and media owners.

Saleh Ghazal’s new GM remit will see him become responsible for programmatic and performance. With his extensive experience in managing a team of digital and offline media specialists, Ghazal will now focus on measurability and new strategic initiatives, a natural fit for his digital expertise while continuing to manage a vast range of clients.

In his new GM role, Maher Ghazal is building on his impressive track record in integrating the agency’s digital, content and brand activation teams for some of the company’s biggest clients. He takes on the content and experiences unit at OMD with the ambition to accelerate clients’ digital content adoption to deliver expansion and growth. 

Karan Kukreja will now also oversee HR and marketing in a GM capacity. Consistently future-facing and committed to excellence, Kukreja will focus on nurturing OMD’s company culture, allowing the best talent to thrive through a program of employee engagement activities, as well as working alongside the marketing team to create new experiences.

The new structure has also seen Elie Bachaalani expanding his role as the company’s regional executive director of investments for both the UAE and the Lower Gulf, while Antonio Chedrawy is promoted to CFO of OMD MENA. Strategy and analytics remain a core area of focus within the company, allowing Farah Moumneh to extend her current remit and better utilize her expertise in this field, while Maya Bou Ajram will drive the business development function, over and above her existing luxury portfolio.

The leadership team will be led by Zeeshan Merchant, who is making a lateral move into HR as senior manager, building on his growing passion for the discipline.

“These promotions reflect our determination to continuously evolve and transform our business offering, while developing loyal and highly effective homegrown talent," said Nadim Samara, CEO of OMD UAE.

"This is a continuous and agile process that we adjust over time, re-aligning our structure, as the market, client and talent needs arise. I would like to congratulate the senior management team on their new roles, which will see them even more involved in steering both our and our clients’ growth, promoting best practice and devising the way forward for all our stakeholders.”    

The appointments were effective as of December 1, 2017.