Babar Khan Javed
Apr 30, 2018

CEO of Starcom Pakistan steps down

After 16 months as the CEO of Starcom in Pakistan, Omar Abedin has stepped down to pursue alternative interests.

Omer Abedin, the former CEO of Starcom.
Omer Abedin, the former CEO of Starcom.

Omar Abedin, the CEO of Starcom in Pakistan, has resigned.

"I'm leaving Starcom to pursue a different path which I'll be able to talk about soon inshaAllah," said Abedin. "I've had an amazing experience with Raihan and the team over the past year and a half."

Abedin resigned to pursue other interests, as did Adnan Shaikh, the group CFO for Starcom in Pakistan according to Raihan Merchant, chairman of Merchant Horizons Limited. In Pakistan, MHL is the holding company above Brainchild Communications, the second largest media agency in the country of which Starcom is an affiliate.

"Farhan Khan will continue to run Starcom, as its chief operating officer," said Merchant, adding that Starcom has strengthened its position under Farhan’s leadership.  Merchant pointed to Starcom's successful defence of the Friesland Pakistan and Zong Pakistan businesses as examples, along with winning the PEL appliances and Servis Sales Corporation alongside digital assignments for Coca-Cola and Friesland Pakistan.

To make up for Abedin's departure, Hussain Naqvi will be appointed as the head of buying for the group, while Mohammad Usman Chaudhary will now run MediaVest, in addition to his duties as business lead for P&G AoR.

Merchant said that he considers Chaudhary as one of the star performers of his agency.

As the only Pakistan-based agency with a dedicated management trainee program, Merchant will be taking over the HR function for Starcom and MediaVest.

"The program has been modernised to include digital training and a greater emphasis on data analytics and performance marketing," said Merchant.

Abedin's appointment as CEO of Starcom Pakistan in 2017 broke away from the operational staple of Brainchild Communications in that it was an external hire and not a promotion from within.

In his 16 months in the position, Abedin and his team won and retained several important accounts, including Samsung, Zong, RFC, Pel, Vital, and many more.

"In an industry challenged by stagnant growth, we've grown strong double digits at the top and bottom line," said Abedin on his last day as the CEO of Starcom in Pakistan. "We have a revitalised management training program with 30+ trainees learning hard right now. We have launched several 'firsts', especially in the digital space. And we have a team of firebreathers that I call 'brainiacs' that work hard, play hard and get great work done. Brainiacs rule!"

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