RIYADH — Edelman has appointed former Ogilvy leader Elie Azzi as the new general manager of its business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Azzi (pictured, left) will join Edelman in January, replacing Kenana Dahlan, who has left the firm to become a government advisor in Saudi Arabia. In his time at Ogilvy, Azzi led the agency’s transformation of the communications and PR function in the kingdom, and has also held senior positions at Havas and Porter Novelli in the region.

At the same time, Edelman KSA has appointed Sarah Alarrak (pictured, right) in the newly-created role of strategic communications advisor, with a remit that includes growing the agency’s client base in Saudi Arabia.

Most recently, Alarrak worked at Saudi Arabia’s ministry of sport, where she was focused on building international relations with multilateral organisations. She has also held positions at the G20 Saudi secretariat where she managed the woman and youth agenda, and before that worked for the University of Chicago, based in Riyadh, developing the communications strategy for the market.

Edelman EMEA president and CEO AJ Hesselink said: “These appointments strengthen our team in the Kingdom considerably. We have a thriving business in the KSA. In Elie and Sarah, we have well connected, experienced and accomplished communications professionals. I have no doubt that Elie will do a fantastic job in taking our business in KSA to the next level, and in partnership with the wider leadership team will continue to grow our business and ensure every client benefits from Edelman’s global capabilities.”

Azzi added: “It is my priority to not only deepen our capabilities and expand international integration but also to foster, teach, and empower a pool of local talent connected with global expertise. By nurturing and investing in our talented professionals, we will shape the future of communications in Saudi Arabia.”