The voting has closed, the tabulation is done and the industry has spoken – Alex Saber, Chairman, Publicis Media Middle East has been named AM Person of the Year.
AM Person of the Year is designed as an initiative enabling the industry to name the one industry captain who has made the most impact on the marketing, media and advertising business in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region. In the inaugural year, following a dual process of inviting nominations and then putting these to vote, the honor has been bestowed on Mr Saber.
“I am grateful for this recognition and for all the people who voted for me. I highly appreciate their gratitude towards me. This acknowledgement comes as a result of 26 years of dedication and the trust of our people and partners. Unquestionably, this adds more accountability and responsibility to myself and the group, further encouraging us to keep striving forward in 2017, building on the transformation and success that Publicis Media has witnessed this past year,” Mr Saber said, speaking to the Arabian Marketer on being awarded the AM Person of the Year.
The general consensus on Mr Saber is that he is passionate about everything he does, and loves the intellectual challenge of making it all work.
For the industry per se, 2016 was a tough year but for Publicis Media, the stakes were even higher as the region was adapting to a global restructure that changed the fundamental set up of the company. As Chairman of Publicis Media in the Middle East, Mr Saber managed the merging of Publicis Media agencies and global practices while retaining the agency’s clients and its key talent during the transition phase.
This was also the year when five startups from MENA, competed at a global scale, to be part of the Publicis90 initiative, where Publicis Groupe is giving investments ranging from Euros 10,000 to Euros 500,000 to the startups. MENA’s performance was commendable and indicated how Publicis Media had managed startups and younger talent in the region to see this kind of participation.
The year ended on a good note too for the group as Starcom Dubai, led by Mr Saber, won the Most Effective Media Office of the Year at Effie MENA.
Frequently named among the most powerful Arabs in the world, Mr Saber is a native of Lebanon. He started his professional journey at the age of 23 in the media department of Leo Burnett, Dubai. He set up Starcom Saudi in 1997 and in 2001 launched MediaVest in Dubai, soon expanding it to other markets in the Middle East. He assumed the position of Chairman, Vivaki, MENA in 2011 and was named Chairman, Publicis Media, Middle East following a global restructure of the media holding company last year.
He has been described as a captain of captains and a first among equals for his contribution over the years. It is his long earned goodwill that has contributed to him winning AM Person of the Year.