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 veteran of sales and marketing, Shaker’s career spans more than two decades with some of the world’s most prestigious hotel brands, including Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Caesars Palace.
Shaker’s role will be to expand the APO Group customer base and provide strategic support to Middle East-based companies looking to communicate across the African continent. His vast experience and knowledge of corporate culture in the Middle East places him perfectly to develop APO Group’s diverse customer base.
Born in Afghanistan and raised in Washington DC, Shaker has spent most of his career in various sales and marketing executive roles at prestigious Four Seasons hotels and resorts. As Regional Sales Manager, Middle East for the Four Seasons, he was instrumental in the expansion of the group’s brand in the region.
Shaker then joined Palazzo Versace Dubai as Commercial Director, heading the Revenue, Sales, Marketing and Communications departments. There, he helped establish the company’s sales, marketing and public relations structure, as well as its branding standards.
In his most recent role as Vice President of Business Development at Caesars Palace, Shaker was instrumental in expanding the brand into Dubai – the first time a Caesars Palace venue was launched outside of the States – United.
“The appointment of an executive of Shaker’s caliber is great news for the APO Group. Many of our Pan-African clients are either based in or are present in the Middle East, and Shaker’s experience and expertise in sales and business development makes him ideally placed to provide local support ”, declared Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard (www. Pompigne-Mognard.com), founder and president of the APO group.
“Another benefit is the unique perspective he brings to this position, having been instrumental in appointing PR agencies in the Middle East during his work with prestigious multinationals. He has led various sales and marketing teams throughout his career and has mentored many young professionals. We are delighted that he is joining us in our continued efforts to help businesses in the region grow their businesses on the African continent.
Shaker, who received his degree in economics from the University of Maryland, will be based in Dubai and looks 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 choosing PR agencies to coordinate strategic communications in different regions,” Shaker commented. “When selecting agencies, the three things I always looked for were: their professional portfolios; their perception and relationships in the market; and their ability to communicate the company’s vision and goals. APO Group easily exceeds these criteria, and my goal is to strengthen our status as a pan-African leader in communications consulting.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to join an organization renowned for making its mark on the continent at an exciting time for Africa, as the world watches us with a renewed focus on commerce, industry, investments and innovations. ”
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