APO Group (www.APO-opa.com), the leading Pan-African communications consultancy and press release distribution service, today announced the appointment of Shaker Akbar as Regional Vice President, Middle East.
A sales and marketing veteran, Shaker’s career spans over two decades with some of the most prestigious hotel brands in the world, including the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, and Caesars Palace.
Shaker’s role will be to expand APO Group’s client base and provide strategic support to Middle East-based companies looking to communicate throughout the continent of Africa. His vast experience and knowledge of the business culture in the Middle East make him perfectly placed to develop APO Group’s diverse client base.
Born in Afghanistan and raised in Washington DC, Shaker spent most of his early career in various sales and marketing leadership roles at the prestigious Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. As the Regional Director of Sales, Middle East for the Four Seasons, he was instrumental in the group’s brand expansion in the region.
Shaker later joined Palazzo Versace Dubai as Commercial Director, heading up the Revenue, Sales, Marketing & Communications departments. There, he helped to establish the company’s sales, marketing and PR structure, as well as its brand standards.
In his most recent position as the Vice President of Business Development for Caesars Palace, Shaker played a key role in extending the brand to Dubai – the first time a Caesars Palace venue had ever launched outside the United States.
“Appointing an executive of Shaker’s calibre is fantastic news for APO Group. Many of our Pan-African clients are either based in the Middle East, or have a presence there, and Shaker’s experience and expertise in sales and business development make him ideally placed to provide local support,” said Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard (www.Pompigne-Mognard.com), Founder and Chairman of APO Group.
“A further bonus is the unique perspective he brings to the role, having been instrumental in appointing PR agencies within the Middle East during his work with prestigious, multinational companies. He has led diverse sales and marketing teams throughout his career and mentored many young professionals. We are delighted he is joining us in our ongoing efforts to help companies in the region grow their business on the African continent.”
Shaker, who obtained his degree in Economics from the University of Maryland, will be based in Dubai and is looking forward to strengthening relationships with existing APO Group clients in the region and developing new ones.
“I know exactly what challenges large organizations face when picking PR Agencies to coordinate strategic communications in different regions,” Shaker commented. “When I was selecting agencies, the three elements I always looked for were: their professional portfolios; their perception and relationships in the market; and their ability to communicate the vision and goals of the company. APO Group easily exceeds these criteria, and my goal is to build on our status as the leading Pan-African communications consultancy.
“I am thrilled at the opportunity to join an organization renowned for making its mark on the continent at an exciting time for Africa, as the world looks to us with a renewed focus on trade, industry, investment and innovations.”