DUBAI: Dave Robinson, president and CEO at Hill+Knowlton Strategies for Australia, Middle East, Africa, South and Central Asia, died Monday. He was 41.
He suffered a heart attack after leading a training session for employees in Dubai, an agency representative told PRWeek.
Robinson joined H+K in 2005 as Middle East CEO and assumed leadership of Australia, Africa, and South and Central Asia in 2011. Over the past seven years, he counseled corporations and government entities on issues ranging from economic diplomacy to crisis preparedness and sustainability.
Robinson was also a specialist in emerging markets, with an “insatiable curiosity about people and countries,” said Andrew Laurence, vice chairman and director of the global corporate advisory practice at H+K. He was a founding member of the Middle East PR Association and led the organization from 2009 to 2010.
“[Robinson] was one of the most astute minds in international public relations,” Laurence added. “He was brilliant and opinionated, with a whirlwind of ideas, but he balanced that by being an extremely caring manager.”
Prior to joining H+K, Robinson was an EVP at Civitas, Ketchum's affiliate partner in Greece. Before that he worked at Ketchum in the UK.
Robinson was also a motorbike enthusiast, blogger, and guitarist, leading several rock bands while at H+K, Laurence recalled.
“He had a massive presence," Laurence said. "He was physically a big man, but also had a big character in every way. At any gathering, he would be at the center of it.”