DUBAI — Edelman has unveiled new leadership in the Middle East following the departures of Dabo founders Camilla and Lucy D'Abo and MD Jason Leavy, a couple of months after the firm laid off a significant proportion of its workforce in the region.

The D'Abo sisters sold their firm to Edelman in 2015, creating one of the largest players in the market. Since then, though, the agency has suffered a downturn in business, particularly on the consumer side under Dabo, leading to the layoffs of 20 people earlier this year.

After six years with Dabo & Co, MD Jason Leavy became Edelman brand MD last year, serving on the exco with the D'Abo sisters under UAE CEO Tod Donhauser. Both Leavy and the D'Abo sisters have left "to pursue new opportunities", according to a statement from the firm, with a management transition set to take place over the next couple of months.

In their stead, the firm has hired former Lexis UK CEO Jason Gallucci as MD of brand and Alex Apthorpe as director of brand experience and creative for Edelman UAE.

"The last two years have seen the successful integration of the two firms in the face of tough trading conditions and we would like to thank Camilla and Lucy for all they have done for us in that time," said Edelman APACMEA COO Bob Grove. "Their cultural and business leadership has been exceptional over this period, which is reflected in their amazing team and deep client relationships."

“We leave a combined business that offers the very best integrated brand service in the market," added Camilla d’Abo. "Our teams and clients are in great hands. This is not a decision we have come to easily, but we both feel that now our commitment to Edelman is complete it is time we explore new opportunities."

Gallucci will oversee the combined Edelman Dabo team, which now numbers 80 people in Dubai. Apthorpe will report to Gallucci.

"For the past two decades, I have had the privilege of running some of the biggest and best agencies in London and I am very excited to be joining Edelman," said Gallucci. "I look forward to working with the outstanding team at Edelman Dabo and the deep roster of Edelman clients to deliver engaging creative campaigns."