Joseph Ghossoub has resigned as chairman and CEO of media giant MENACOM with immediate effect, Arabian Business has learned.

Ghossoub – often dubbed “The Godfather” of advertising, has been one of the most prominent figures in the region’s advertising and media industries for the past four decades.

MENACOM (part of WPP) is the parent company for advertising agencies Y&R, Intermarkets and Partnership, PR consultancy ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, media buying firm MEC and direct marketing specialist Wunderman.

Under his leadership, MENACOM has grown into one of the Middle East’s most successful communications groups, with over 900 employees in its network of 37 offices across the MENA markets.

Until 2008, he also served as chairman and World President of the International Advertising Association (IAA). He was decorated with Lebanon’s highest civilian honour in 2004, a Knight of the Order of the Cedar, in recognition of his achievements and services towards promoting regional and international understanding and cooperation. In April 2008, he was honored with the first Dubai Lynx ‘Advertising Personality of the Year’.

In 2009, the Vatican conferred on Joseph as Pontifical Order of Knighthood in recognition of his lifelong commitment to serving communicates across the Arab World. This is one of the highest honours bestowed by the Holy See.

Last year he was named by Arabian Business as one of the world’s 100 Most Influential Arabs, while also winning the award from the magazine for “Outstanding Contribution to Business.”

Below: Ghossoub receiving the Outstanding Contribution to Business award from ITP Publishing Group CEO Walid Akawi at the Arabian Business Achievement Awards 2014.