Ending a 13-year stint with the company, Omnicom Media Group’s CEO for Saudi Arabia, Choucrallah Abou Samra, will leave his position in June 2016. Faisal Shams, currently General Manager of OMD in the Kingdom, will assume the leadership of the group’s three offices in Saudi Arabia.
In his new attributions at holding level, Mr Shams will report directly to Elie Khouri, CEO of Omnicom Media Group MENA.
Mr Abou Samra has enjoyed an illustrious career with the group, taking over the management of OMD’s operation in Jeddah in 2003. Since then, he has opened and overlooked OMD’s and PHD’s offices in Riyadh, won significant new accounts and awards, developed the group’s offering and built an impressive network of relationships with key stakeholders. He is leaving both the country and the industry to pursue a personal project, joining his family in his native Lebanon. He will, however, continue as a consultant to the group for the rest of the year to ensure a smooth transition.
“No one says goodbye to a dear friend without a great deal of emotion and while we’re very sad to see Choucrallah go, we’re also very grateful for all he’s done for the group and its clients. Over the past 13 years, we’ve come to rely on and cherish his consistency, dependability and impeccable integrity. He’s been a key ambassador for the group and the values we hold dear. Chico, as we affectionately call him, has made an indelible mark and we owe him the strong equity and reputation we have in the Kingdom. I know that Faisal has a strong base on which to build and the talent to propel us and our clients further still, thanks to his remarkable strategic abilities and foresight. I wish both Chico and Faisal the best of luck as they begin an exciting new chapter,” commented Mr Khouri.
Mr Shams, who’s been with the group for close to 10 years, has held various management roles and handled a number of key clients across the region from the MENA HQ in Dubai. He moved to the Kingdom last year to lead OMD’s Saudi operations. Under his stewardship, OMD Arabia has enhanced its service offering, from both a talent and technology perspective, and has won several major new accounts.
“The last 13 years have been the most stimulating, challenging and rewarding of my career and it will be incredibly hard to let this go. What helps this process is the knowledge that the achievements have been many and that I still remain connected to my work family. As they will be in the very capable hands of Faisal, it is now time to dedicate myself to my own family and focus on a different challenge. I am truly grateful to Elie and the whole team for the opportunities and support I have been given,” said Mr Abou Samra.
“Chico will certainly be a tough act to follow but I feel that everything is in place for a smooth transfer of responsibilities. I am certainly thrilled by this new opportunity,” added Mr Shams.