Blackborn departs Starcom MediaVest for new chief executive role

LONDON - Matt Blackborn, the executive buying director at Starcom MediaVest, is leaving to become the first chief executive of Publicis Groupe Media across the Middle East and North Africa.

Blackborn will oversee the regional activities of PGM, which is designed to integrate Starcom MediaVest agencies with those of its sister media network ZenithOptimedia.

Blackborn had worked at the agency, via Motive, for a decade. He moved across to Starcom MediaVest in September 2003 and his UK responsibilities will now fall to Chris Locke, the Starcom group trading director.

He is moving to Dubai and will work with a newly formed PGM management team comprising: Mike Fenwick, formerly chief of Grey Advertising Johannesburg, who becomes chief financial officer; and Oussama Jamal, the managing director of Starcom Egypt. Jamal becomes operations director of Starcom MediaVest Group in the Middle East.

The hirings follow the resignation of Mark Cranmer, the chief executive of Starcom EMEA, who, as revealed by Campaign, is leaving the agency at the beginning of next year.

Jack Klues, the chief executive of Starcom MediaVest Group, said: "The leadership in the Middle East and North Africa has extensive experience and profound understanding of the region's consumers and infrastructure -- great assets to our organisation, particularly as the interim chief executive and chief financial officer of PGM become acclimated to their new professional environs."

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