LONDON--Former Grayling UK CEO Loretta Ahmed is to succeed Guy Taylor as the firm's Middle East CEO.

Taylor, who sold his firm Momentum to Grayling in 2008, is returning home to the UK after 22 years in the Middle East. He will retain an advisory role at the firm, focusing on Middle East and international opportunities.

Ahmed (nee Tobin) is currently a non-executive director on Grayling’s international board. Previously, she was CEO for Grayling UK and has been with the agency since 1994. Upon relocating to Dubai, Ahmed will be supported by existing Grayling UAE MD Ben Castree.

In addition to the Middle East, Taylor took on Asia-Pacific leadership duties last year. It is understood that the firm is currently considering its options regarding the Asia-Pacific CEO role. Regional MD Bruce Shu remains based in Hong Kong.

‘Grayling’s business in the Middle East has grown very strongly with staff numbers increasing from  30 to 55 in just a year thanks to work for a wide range of corporate and government related clients including Audi, BAE Systems, CBRE and Qatar Foundation," said Grayling CEO Michael Murphy. "Loretta’s substantial experience and reputation will allow us to build on recent successes and capitalise on the investment we have already made in the region."

Earlier this year, Murphy resigned his role as Grayling global CEO, but is due to remain with the firm until next summer. The search for Murphy's successor remains underway.