Forbes has released its annual list of the Top CEOs in the Middle East 2021, who are strategically driving growth and development, whether in the workplace or in their sectors in general.
The American business magazine explained on Sunday that the chief executives on the list come from 24 countries, and represent 21 sectors.
Saudi Arabia topped the list with 18 chief executives, followed by the UAE and Egypt with 16 chief executives each, making up half of the members on the list.
The oil and gas sectors in the region, which dealt well with the repercussions of the pandemic, topped the first 5 ranks on the list with 4 chief executives, led by Amin H. Nasser, President and CEO of Saudi Aramco.
Nasser leads the world’s biggest oil company with a market cap of $1.8 trillion. He oversaw the acquisition of a 70% stake in SABIC for $69.1 billion in June 2020 as the company seeks to build its presence in the downstream and chemicals segments.
Emirati Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) came second on the list, heading one of the world’s biggest energy firms with a daily production capacity of over 3.5 million barrels of oil and 10.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, CEO of the Emirates Group came in the third spot, managing Emirates Airline, a global airline which covers more than 150 destinations across six continents with a fleet of 270 aircraft. For the 2019/20 financial year, Emirates Group reported revenues of $28.3 billion and assets worth $51.3 billion.
Kuwaiti Hashem Hashem, CEO and Vice Chairman of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation came in the fourth spot, while Algerian Toufik Hakkarm of Sonatrach came in fifth.
The banking and financial services sector leads the list with 29 chief executives, constituting nearly one-third of the ranking.
Abdulla Mubarak Al-Khalifa, CEO of Qatar National Bank (QNB) Group, who stood eighth on the list, lead the list of executives in the banking and financial services sector.
Having joined the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) as deputy chairman responsible for the risk, operations, compliance, and audit in 2008, Hisham Okasha’s banking career spans over 26 years. He leads the bank’s global workforce of over 20,000 employees serving the bank’s 14 million customers. Okasha ranked sixteenth on the list.
The newcomer, Hana Al Rostamani, ranked 19 on the list, as the Emirati took over the position of CEO of the First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) in January 2021. The banking group had total assets of $250 billion and a net profit of $2.9 billion in 2020. It recently agreed to acquire the Egyptian unit of Lebanon’s Bank Audi. Post-acquisition, FAB is expected to be one of the largest foreign banks in Egypt with total assets of more than $8.1 billion post-acquisition.
Egyptian Hatem Dowidar, CEO of Etisalat ranked #22, as he leads a global workforce of more than 46,000 people. Etisalat is one of the world’s largest telecom operators with a brand portfolio valued at $10. 9 billion and a presence in 16 countries.
Hisham Talaat Mostafa, CEO & Managing Director of the Talaat Moustafa Group ranked 67th, as his company is the largest listed real estate company in Egypt with $7.1 billion in assets in 2020. The group has a 50-year history and land bank of 53 million square meters.
Forbes Middle East indicated that it evaluated the size of CEOs’ companies, based on several criteria, in addition to the personal achievements of CEOs, and their impact on their companies and the sector on a wider scale.
Here are the Top 10 CEOs in the Middle East 2021:
1- Amin H. Nasser (Nationality: Saudi – President and CEO of Saudi Aramco).
2- Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber (Nationality: Emirati – CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company “ADNOC”).
3- Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum (Nationality: Emirati – Chairman and CEO of the Emirates Group).
4- Hashem Hashem (Nationality: Kuwaiti – CEO and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation).
5- Toufik Hakkarm (Nationality: Algerian – Chairman and CEO of Sonatrach).
6- Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi (Nationality: Qatari – Deputy Chairman, President & CEO of Qatar Petroleum).
7- Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan (Nationality: Saudi – Vice Chairman and CEO of SABIC).
8- Abdulla Mubarak Al-Khalifa (Nationality: Qatari – CEO of “QNB”).
9- Paul Griffiths (Nationality: British – CEO of Dubai Airports).
10- Osama Mounier Mohamed Rabie (Nationality: Egyptian – Chairman and Managing Director of Suez Canal Authority “SCA”).