About Maria Gedeon, CEO of Gedeon Mohr & Partners

Maria Gedeon is an innovative, transformative, and tech-savvy executive with over twenty years of global experience in retail, destinations, and entertainment, with seventeen years in the UAE.

Maria founded Gedeon Mohr & Partners to bring real-world solutions to clients for complex business challenges they faced.

Most recently, Maria was Chief Customer and Marketing Officer at the Chalhoub Group, the largest luxury retailer in the MENA and the LVMH joint venture partner, driving forward their marketing and customer transformations, overseeing brand building, customer management, insights and advanced analytics, partnerships, and content to name a few.

Maria has worked in senior roles at top-tier organisations including Majid Al Futtaim, managing over 70+ award-winning marketers for the leisure, entertainment, and cinemas operating company and Zayed Sports City (a Mubadala subsidiary) to reignite their brand and transform marketing. She also managed marketing and sponsorship for several trade and consumer shows with Turret Media, including Taste of Dubai, the World Future Energy Summit, and Abu Dhabi Art Fair to name a few.

Maria supports a few organisations in the region and holds the below non-executive positions:

  • Board Members of the Marketing Society Middle East
  • Board Member of almentor.net – the largest e-learning platform in the Arab world
  • Advisory board member of local start ups
  • External advisor at Bain & Company

Maria is a proud working mom of two and a huge proponent of culture, ESG and D&I. She was a former national ski champion and is an avid tennis player. She loves art, hotels and food, and spends her spare time traveling and cooking for friends. She also enjoys mentoring future leaders.

About her thoughts for the industry

The last couple of years have undoubtedly disrupted our everyday lives with supply chain disruptions, inflation, and a heartbreaking situation in Ukraine, Turkey, and Syria but zooming out and taking the longer term view and after speaking to business leaders from all over the world I have heard a widely shared confidence and a real optimism that when we look back on this era one thing it will be remembered for is how fast the customer agenda has been changing which led to so many lasting innovations in technology and beyond.  In times like these, only the strongest brands survive, and driving loyalty is harder than ever before. 

My thoughts are that artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation, and ESG are the most exciting topics in marketing today, and here is how I think we should approach them: 

  • CMOs and marketers must adapt plans, programmes, and budgets to have “elasticity” and “agility” in a gyrating economy while keeping their eye on the goal and north star.
  • Marketers must anticipate demand chain shifts and act preemptively using real-time,  data analysis and models that allow them to adapt quickly and efficiently.
  • Marketers must shift from one-size-fits-all CRM strategies to individualized and intent-based marketing as the key to tomorrow’s marketing is to consider the consumer in all his uniqueness and to combine artificial intelligence and business expertise reaching the customer whenever he wants, wherever he wants to help him with whatever it is that he wants. 
  • Marketers should become the authority on growth strategies, revenue recovery, pricing, opportunity conversion, and customer value building.
  • Marketing leaders must adapt their operating models to be fit for the future allowing their marketers to grow, learn and evolve. 
  • CMOs must not forget to build their brands and have in place a solid top-of-the-funnel strategy to build brand salience and true loyalty.
  • With the evolution of Chat GPT, Midjourney and Runway and other artificial intelligence tools, there is no room for bad and mediocre content. Marketers must seize this opportunity to perfect their content, adapt it, and make sure it resonates.
  • Finally, one thing I am very passionate about is how marketers must have an ESG strategy and consider their impact on the planet, society, and environment while taking care of their brand and customers. It’s an interesting space that I think will become a prerequisite for clients who care.