BEIRUT — Memac Ogilvy has reshuffled the leadership of its PR unit after the retirement of regional director Saada Hammad. 

Hammad stepped down last month after a decade of overseeing the establishment and growth of Memac Ogilvy's PR unit in the MENA region, to more than 100 people across 11 offices in 10 markets. 

To replace Hammad, Memac Ogilvy has promoted Ashraf Shakah to head a new regional leadership team for its PR and influence division. Shakah is named regional director after previously overseeing Memac Ogilvy's PR operation in Saudi Arabia, which has seen substantial growth.

Other members of the new leadership team include PR/influence market heads Peter Bellini in UAE, Chris Hayes in Qatar, and Dan Wilson for Bahrain and Kuwait. Bellini joined Memac Ogilvy in January from Edelman while Hayes spent several years at the same firm's Washington DC office. Wilson returns to Ogilvy from Porter Novelli in New York.

The new appointments reflect Memac Ogilvy's desire to expand beyond its consumer focus into public affairs and corporate communications. 

"These appointments reflect our ambitions for further growth in the corporate, government, and public affairs sectors," said Memac Ogilvy regional director Patou Nuytemans. "This will complement our leading position in the consumer sector and help us further realize our goal to provide integrated content strategies, ideas and execution above and beyond anything in the market."

Prior to joining Memac Ogilvy at the start of 2019, Shakah led Ketchum Raad's regional presence from Dubai.