Walid Abukhaled, the new President and CEO of GE Saudi Arabia and Bahrain
GE has announced the appointment of Saudi Arabian national Walid Abukhaled as the President & Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Based in Riyadh, he will be responsible for leading the company’s operations in the Kingdom and Bahrain, accelerating the growth and exploring further opportunities for broadening public private partnerships.
Nabil Habayeb, GE’s President & CEO for the Middle East and Africa region, said: “Saudi Arabia is one of the key markets for GE in the Middle East region, where our ‘company to country’ approach delivers tailored solutions that meet the Kingdom’s requirements for long-term sustainability and economic competitiveness. A trusted partner in achieving the Kingdom’s ambitious social and economic growth strategies, GE’s appointment of Walid, who brings in-depth insights on the Saudi market, perfectly complements our development goals.”
Walid Abukhaled said: “Among the most competitive nations in the world today, Saudi Arabia offers an unmatched landscape of economic growth opportunities across diversified sectors. With energy resources as the backbone, the Kingdom is focused on infrastructure development that ensures all-round socio-economic welfare, as highlighted by the massive investment plans recently announced.”
He added: “GE’s strong competencies across energy, water, aviation and healthcare, make it an ideal partner for Saudi Arabia as it moves to the next realm of growth. My focus will be to establish stronger public private partnerships and Saudisation, while also working towards empowering the Saudi youth through education, knowledge transfer and engagement that bring tangible benefits for the Kingdom and GE.”
Bringing more than 21 years of experience in the industry, Walid joins GE from BAE Systems where he was most recently the Director of Portfolio Management & Chairman of BAE Systems Saudi Arabia Operations Board. In that role Walid was appointed as Chairman of the Board for “Aircraft Accessories & Components Company” and Board Directors for “Advance Electronics Company”, “International Systems Engineering” Company and “Saudi Development & Training Company”, all of which carry the status of being Economic Offset Companies. He began his career in 1990 as a graduate engineer and has held a variety of technical support, field operations, Communications, Sales & Marketing, Strategy and various executive positions within the Middle East & Europe.
Walid is considered as one of the most respected new generation Saudi business leaders. He is well-known as a public speaker addressing the key issues effecting global companies operating in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.
GE has invested heavily in Saudi Arabia, building local competencies in aviation, healthcare, oil & gas, water and transportation, among others. The company has its largest operation in the Middle East region in Saudi Arabia, where GE has over 800 employees and seven offices and facilities in key locations.
Some of GE’s key initiatives in the Kingdom that also highlight the focus on local partnership include the GE Saudi Water & Process Technology Center with blending plant for water treatment chemicals; the 125,000 sq ft Power Technology Center in Dammam in partnership with Ali A Tamimi & Sons Co. for latest in repair technology for gas turbines; ‘GET Water’ fleet of mobile water treatment systems in partnership with Al Tamimi Group; a Sales, Service & Training Center in Al Khobar by Saudi Arabian Sensing Solutions Company, joint company formed by GE Sensing and the Tamimi Group and a Non-destructive testing application center in Dammam in partnership with Abdullah Fouad Holding Co and GE Measurement & Control Solutions. The revenues from Saudi Arabia were US$2.5 billion in 2009.