Nassef is co-founding the new company with Tamer Rashad, former Managing Director and Head of Merrill Lynch Middle East & Africa.
“Today the Middle East and Africa region represents an inflection point for television viewership, skyrocketing growth in the penetration of smartphones and connected devices, and heavy social engagement,” said Nassef. “When you combine all of this with the continued growth in both TV and digital advertising budgets, the opportunity is very exciting.”
“Increasingly, the millions of TV viewers in places from Capetown and Casablanca to Dubai and Istanbul are watching TV while holding a mobile phone or tablet and connecting with friends on their favorite social platforms. Telfez will empower these users to share, discuss, and discover TV content in a way that’s simple, intuitive, and fun,” said Nassef.
“The pattern we see in emerging markets isn’t that consumers are spending less time watching TV. In fact, people are watching their favorite shows and sports events on TV while also being engaged in multi-screen experiences,” Nassef continued. “Broadcasters and advertisers need a way to connect those experiences for their viewers and consumers, and that’s what Telfez will be all about.”
Nassef is a digital pioneer who has led Yahoo!’s operations in the Middle East and Africa region. In less than 4 years there, he was instrumental in taking Yahoo!’s audience in the Middle East from less than 20 million to over 50 million while achieving double-digit revenue growth every year. Before Yahoo!, Nassef ran Maktoob.com, an Arabic language destination that was acquired by Yahoo! in November 2009, making it the region’s biggest Internet acquisition to date. He was recently named by Communicate Magazine as one of the Middle East’s top 20 most powerful media figures.