After 13 years at the company he joined as Digital Director for Abu Dhabi and grew to lead as CEO for MENA, Luca Allam has announced his decision to step down and explore new career opportunities. Karen Doumet and Daniel Shepherd, two pillars of PHD’s success to date, will both step into a Co-Managing Director role, working in close collaboration and relying on each other’s strengths to take PHD to new heights.
Doumet has spent 16 years of her career to date at OMG, 13 at PHD, another stunning example of phenomenal growth as a leader. Today, she leads the agency’s operations in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. A planner at heart, she’s grown to become a successful business partner to PHD’s clients and a great mentor to her team. Doumet’s coached a generation of talent and has created a world-class standard of operational excellence.
Shepherd began his career in London at the beginning of the programmatic revolution and developed his strong digital planning talent. After joining PHD in Dubai in 2015, he eventually became Head of Strategy and Product. He injects his passion for culture, storytelling and creativity in his data-driven, and award-winning, strategy approaches. Shepherd actively contributes to crafting and sharing the agency’s thought-leadership.
Together, they will combine their talent and experience to lead the company in a complementary way, each leading a specific set of functions/clients/markets from the front, while the other will lead from the back.
Allam has guided the digital transformation of the agency, developing its skillset, attracting and developing top talent across seniority levels and office locations. In Riyadh, specifically, the headcount grew 20 times in just 18 months. He elevated PHD to a top tier agency brand, both as a prized partner and a fierce competitor, with this talent pool and sophisticated product offering. Under his watch, PHD has attracted and retained an impressive portfolio of global, regional and local clients and was named Most Effective Media Agency Office of the Year at the MENA Effies in 2017, 2019 and 2021.
“As hard as it is to see Luca go, I’m grateful for his dedication and achievement. The team he’s built is resilient and ambitious, with multiple layers of talent ready to step up,” confided Elda Choucair, CEO of Omnicom Media Group MENA and former CEO of PHD MENA. “Karen and Dan already make a formidable duo, so strong is their complementarity. PHD’s culture transcends the individual and we have enormous talent and expertise to continue the journey.”