Edelman splits with former Dabo leaders in UAE

The agency is parting ways with the leaders of the firm it acquired two years ago.

Edelman U.A.E. is replacing key leaders of its operation in the region less than three months after laying off 20 staffers.

The firm named Jason Gallucci as MD of brand and Alex Apthorpe as director of brand experience and creative, replacing vice chairman Camilla d’Abo, MD Lucy d’Abo, and MD Jason Leavy, who will exit the agency in the next two months.

Gallucci will oversee the combined Edelman Dabo brand team of 80. Apthorpe will run the Edelman Dabo Experiential team and report to Gallucci, the firm said in a statement.

The d’Abo sisters and Leavy joined Edelman two years ago after it acquired their independent agency, Dabo & Co. The combined entity, Edelman Dabo, had a staff of 150 in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, making it the largest PR firm in the United Arab Emirates, according to a statement from the agency.

The d’Abos cofounded Dabo & Co. in 2004, according to the firm’s website. Leavy joined the agency in 2010 as commercial director and was promoted to MD just over a year later, according to his LinkedIn account.

A year after the acquisition, Edelman restructured the firm’s leadership under former South Africa MD Tod Donhauser, naming him CEO of Edelman U.A.E.

Gallucci most recently founded Crazy George, a London-based creative agency that has ceased trading, he said via email. Previously, he was CEO of Lexis before stepping down in 2014. Gallucci was also MD at Piranhakid before departing in 2004.

Apthorpe has worked in Dubai since 2004, when he was a director at Eclipse Staging Services. Since then, he has held several roles, including SVP and joint MD for the Middle East at Jack Morton Worldwide.

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