Advertising & Marketing

Ravi Rao steps up as new CEO of Mindshare MENA

Mindshare MENA announced today that Samir Ayoub has resigned as CEO Mindshare MENA and been appointed Delegate of the Board at Mindshare MENA. Ayoub will transition from his current role as CEO, on 1 February 2016 and continue to act as a valued advisor and consultant on all matters related to the agency until July 2016.Stepping up to the CEO role will be Ravi Rao, Mindshare MENA’s current Chief Client Officer and UAE team lead.

Ayoub, who has led Mindshare MENA since 1999, previously headed up Ogilvy Media. Throughout his 26-year tenure with WPP companies, Ayoub has built up world-class media offerings in the region. His in-depth knowledge of the multiple markets and its consumers’ lifestyles, habits and choices, has supported local and international brands in developing their market share across regional geographies.

Rao joined Mindshare MENA in May 2015 as Chief Client Officer and in October took on additional responsibility for leading the UAE team. Previously Rao led Mindshare South Asia as CEO for 3 years. Rao’s 9 plus years experience with WPP companies has honed his transformational expertise, which will now support the Mindshare MENA network as it continues to create cutting edge products for its clients and their brands. Rao will leverage new opportunities to further develop the agency’s strategic business alliances and deliver network growth across agency disciplines and client categories.

Roy Haddad, Director WPP MENA and Edmond Moutran, Chairman Mindshare MENA jointly commented “Whilst Samir will be leaving the day-to-day operations of the agency in February, he will remain a valued member of the team as Delegate of the Mindshare MENA Board, continuing to support and facilitate the agency’s initiatives that keep it future ready and a sought after media partner in the region.”

Since 1999 Mindshare MENA has grown to include teams on the ground in 10 markets, and achieved awards at the Dubai Lynx, Effies MENA, MENA Festival of Media and the MENA Cristal. In 2015 the agency was Media Network of the Year at the MENA Festival of Media; the Media Network of the Year at the MENA Cristal; and Mindshare Dubai was named the most effective media agency in MENA, by the global Effie Effectiveness Index. The agency’s current list of clients boasts some of the region’s most prestigious accounts including HSBC and SABB, Zain Telecommunications, Al Safi Danone, Dubai Festivals & Retail Establishment and Rolex.

Samir Ayoub said “My time with Mindshare has been rewarding and exhilarating. Much has changed in the consumer and media landscape since I took on the CEO role 17 years ago. I am delighted that the company will continue to flourish, guided by the experienced and capable hands of my friend and colleague Ravi Rao. In the coming months and years ahead, I look forward to celebrating its continued achievements.” 

Tasked with further developing the agency’s offering, Ravi Rao said, “It is most satisfying that I was one of ‘the Day 1 employees’ when Mindshare was set up in the region way back in 1999. A real privilege now to lead Mindshare MENA and I really look forward to further building on the success of our strong team and a world-class product so our client partners benefit the most by driving the Adaptive Marketing vision.”

The Mindshare MENA Board wishes to acknowledge and thank Ayoub for his 26 years of dedication, leadership and service with Mindshare and Ogilvy in the region.

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