Following WPP’s recent announcement of Roy Haddad’s new role as Director of WPP Middle East and North Africa (MENA), JWT is excited to announce further executive promotions in the region. Vatche Keverian will take on the role of CEO of JWT MENA and Chris von Selle is formally announced as COO JWT Africa.
Over the years, the MENA region has become increasingly important to WPP. Haddad explained that the region’s growth has created a need to develop ‘horizontally’, share knowledge, and collaborate across company boundaries to leverage collective strength.
As Director of WPP MENA, Haddad’s key priorities are finding the region’s best talent, identifying acquisition prospects, and looking out for MENA companies that will become major world players. Keverian will step in as CEO to lead JWT MENA’s vision and goals leveraging best practices and talent in the interest of JWT’s clients. Commenting on the leadership change, Haddad said, “Without a doubt, Vatche is the best pair of hands to drive JWT MENA’s vision and goals.”
As a 20-year veteran of JWT, Keverian has seen the major political, social and economic changes in the Middle East and North African markets, and recognizes the region’s sizeable growth opportunities. With operations in every major MENA city, JWT is well positioned for tackling these new and growing opportunities. “From a business perspective, we started our transformation and remodeled the agency into client-centric business units and away from the geographic mindset of the past. We will be looking at clustering for greater operational focus on pushing efficiency and excellence,” explained Keverian. He emphasized however, “Our mission remains, ‘communication-based business solutions.’”
Likewise in JWT Africa, formally announced COO JWT Africa, Chris von Selle shared, “By launching the Middle East and Africa Region and establishing Africa as a JWT cluster, we have put considerable focus on this part of the world. Investment in talent, training, capabilities and implementation of a new client-centric operating model are the heart of this effort.”
As client solutions becoming increasingly digital and blur the line between traditional and digital, JWT has focused on growth and expansion around digital capabilities. In addition to integrated work with clients like STC, Nestle and Kraft, JWT MENA has also scored recent digital specific wins including Du, one of the UAE’s major telecom operators, UL and four key brands’ digital businesses were assigned regionally to JWT. Keverian also added that dotJWT has been a great advantage in harnessing the digital power of JWT globally as well as regionally.
From JWT Africa, Von Selle also noted their dotJWT efforts led by Yoav Tchelet, and emphasized the central role digital would take in their strategy. “We have decided to invest equally in digital culture and digital capabilities,” said Von Selle.
When asked about the primary goals within their new roles, both Keverian and Von Selle responded emphatically: collaboration. “This is not about a long list of offices. In fact, it is not about offices at all. It’s about facilitating knowledge across the region, bringing people together, embracing diversity and technological innovation, which is at the heart of our global worldmade philosophy,” Von Selle explained.
As these leadership changes take place, Haddad noted,“It is rewarding to see JWT’s own talent being promoted from within. This illustrates one of JWT’s strengths – how the talent understand and promote JWT culture throughout the network.”