Blackborn to head PGM in Middle East

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.

He will oversee the regional activities of PGM, which is designed to integrate Starcom MediaVest's 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.

Blackborn will move to Dubai to work with a newly formed PGM management team. It comprises Mike Fenwick, the former chief of Grey Advertising Johannesburg, who becomes the chief financial officer, and Oussama Jamal, the managing director of Starcom Egypt. Jamal becomes the operations director of Starcom MediaVest Group in the Middle East.

The appointments follow the resignation of Mark Cranmer, the chief executive of Starcom EMEA, who will leave the agency in the new year (Campaign, 15 July).

Jack Klues, the chief executive of Starcom Mediavest Group, said: "The leadership in the Middle East and North Africa has extensive experience and a profound understanding of the consumers and infrastructure of the region. It is a great asset."