The Forbes top leaders
Sustainability and social responsibility rank high among regional leaders' priorities, with technology being the most represented sector, boasting 15 entries, in the Forbes Middle East’s 11th Global Meets Local ranking.
The Global Meets Local 2023 top ten are:
Samer Abu-Ltaif, Company: Microsoft, Designation: Corporate Vice President & President – Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa, Nationality: Lebanese, Global Headquarters: US, Sector: Technology
Omar Channawi, Company: Procter & Gamble (P&G), Designation: CEO –Middle East, Pakistan and Global Entrepreneurial Markets & Senior Vice President of Sales – Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, Nationality: Moroccan, Global Headquarters: US, Sector: Consumer Goods.
Yasser Abdul Malak, Company: Nestlé Middle East, Designation: Chairman and CEO – Mena, Nationality: Lebanese, Global Headquarters: Switzerland, Sector: Food and Beverage.
Dimitrios Dosis, Company: Mastercard, Designation: President – Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa, Global Headquarters: US, Nationality: German, Sector: Technology.
Kuljit Ghata-Aura, Company: Boeing, Designation: President – Middle East, Türkiye and Africa, Nationality: British, Global Headquarters: US, Sector: Aerospace.
Anthony Nakache, Company: Google, Designation: Managing Director – Mena, Nationality: French,
Global Headquarters: US, Sector: Technology.
Ronaldo Mouchawar, Company: Amazon, Designation: Vice President – Mena,
Nationality: Syrian-American, Global Headquarters: US, Sector: Technology.
Shazia Syed, Company: Unilever, Designation: General Manager – North Africa, Levant and Iraq & Arabia Senior Customer Development Lead, Nationality: Pakistani, Global Headquarters: UK,
Sector: Consumer Goods.
Andrew Buckingham, Company: The Coca-Cola Company, Designation: Vice President and General Manager – Middle East, Nationality: British, Global Headquarters: US, Sector: Food and Beverage.
John W. Nicholson, Company: Lockheed Martin, Designation: CEO – Middle East,
Nationality: American, Global Headquarters: US, Sector: Aerospace.
They have masterfully navigated the unique Mena business landscapes, leaving an indelible mark on the region’s growth, development, and cultural integration.
With COP28 set to be hosted by the UAE later this year, the business titans featured on this year’s ranking are placing sustainability at the forefront. For instance, in 2022, DHL Express’ Nour Suliman led the complete solar panel installations at its facilities in Jordan, Iraq, and the UAE and introduced nine new electric vehicles to the region.
Standard Chartered’s Sunil Kaushal – the highest-ranked banking executive – spearheaded the first sustainability-linked loan by a private company, Landmark Group, in 2022 and issued the first Green Guarantee in Qatar in partnership with Siemens Energy in March 2023.
Whereas, in June 2023, Henkel’s Ashraf ElAfifi launched two Net Carbon Neutral Production Units in the region.
Investments in AI solutions have also gained momentum and become a shared focal point among tech companies. In 2022, Intel established an AI Research and Development Centre in Dubai, and Lenovo announced an investment in AI of $1 billion over three years after recording an annual AI in infrastructure revenue of over $2 billion. Most recently, in July 2023, Google launched its generative AI experiment “Bard” in Arabic.
The 2023 list spotlights 103 exceptional executives at the helm of regional offices for 100 Forbes Global 2000 companies. To compile this list, Forbes Middle East analysed this year’s Forbes Global 2000 list, identifying companies with significant Mena operations. The top-ranking executives from their regional headquarters were then ranked based on factors such as the impact and scope of their role, sustainability and CSR initiatives, business size, personal achievements, and public recognition.
Diversity in nationality and sector
The executives represent 41 nationalities. France, India, and Lebanon lead with 10 executives each, followed by the UK and Germany with eight and six executives, respectively.
The list covers a diverse spectrum of 33 sectors, reflecting their multifaceted contributions to the region’s prosperity. Technology emerges as the frontrunner with 15 entries, followed closely by 11 pharmaceutical companies and seven automotive industry leaders. Of the 100 companies, 48% hail from the US. -- TradeArabia News Service