RIYADHI--Fleishman-Hillard has hired former Porter-Novelli Singapore head Ed Dixon to boost its Middle East presence.

Dixon brought his 13-year Porter-Novelli career to a close last year, before handling a short-term consultancy assignment for Omnicom Group in the Middle East. He joins Fleishman-Hillard as a director, focusing initially on the firm's business in Saudi Arabia.

"What they have asked me to do is head into Saudi and help grow the business there, and help with regional business development and regional clients," Dixon told the Holmes Report.

Specifically, Dixon will begin his Fleishman career by working on the firm's business with oil giant Saudi Aramco.

"We've spent the last two years in a rebuilding exercise in the region," said Fleishman regional head Lucien Vallun. "Saudi Arabia is the elephant in the room - it’s a massive market and it’s one that still holds big potential."