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Saudi firms top TRENDS CEO 2012 List

Mr Mohamed Al Mady, Vice-Chairman and CEO of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation

- Retail and cement companies take the cake

- 13 out of 16 new entries in 2012 are Saudi companies

- “Our methodology is simple, transparent and authentic,” says Mediaquest Group Co-CEO Julien Hawari

- CEO’s job is to meet customers’ expectations, says SABIC CEO Mohamed Al Mady

December 10, 2012 10:18 by

Dubai, UAE – December 9th, 2012 The sheer size of Saudi Arabia’s economy, ease of doing business, increased purchasing power and its active construction industry have propelled the ranks of Saudi companies and their leaders on TRENDS’ Top 50 CEO List this year.

There have been several media reports in 2012 by regional and international media, including TRENDS, commenting on the immense growth seen by the Saudi retail and construction sectors. New entries and a rise through the top CEO ranks of Saudi cement companies is a testament to the vibrancy of the property and construction sectors in the Kingdom. The increased purchasing power of Saudis has also added to the fortunes of retail groups such as Fawaz AlHokair.

Out of 16 new entries in 2012’s List, 13 companies are from Saudi Arabia, and the top five companies are also from the Kingdom.

The  top five companies in the list are indicative of the power of Saudi businesses. They are:

1)      Fawaz Abdulaziz AlHokair Company – the firm was No.28 in 2011

2)      Alinma Bank – the firm was not among top 50 last year

3)      Astra Industrial Group – the company did not figure in the top 50 in 2011

4)      Etihad Etisalat – the telecom firm was ranked 36 last year

5)      Saudi Telecom Company – the company was not among top 50 in 2011


TRENDS, one of the leading international English magazines on Arab affairs in the Middle East, started ranking the top Chief Executive Officers in the GCC countries last year.

In 2011’s TRENDS Top 50 CEOs list, banks and insurance companies were in the majority, while 2012’s list is dominated by retail, telecom and construction companies.

The methodology adopted in finalizing the rankings is transparent and simple. Trends rates performance of the CEOs through the financial statements posted by the publicly listed companies from time to time.

Co-Chief Executive Officer of Mediaquest Group, Julien Hawari, said: “TRENDS method of ranking the CEOs and businesses is simple, authentic and transparent. Our team compared growth figures of companies listed on DFM, ADX and Tadawul in 2010, 2011 and 2012 [until Q3], and closely examined profitability, share prices, size and reputation of the company in the market. We allotted points to each company according to the results posted by them on respective stock exchanges.

“One of the interesting aspects of the methodology is the turnaround factor, but in 2012 no company earned points on that count,” said Mr Hawari.

Speaking with TRENDS on the role of CEOs, vice-chairman and CEO of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, Mr Mohamed Al Mady, said: “Our most important job is to meet our customers’ expectations; this is why we build long-term partnerships with those we serve, so that we can better understand their needs.”

Offering advice to younger business leaders,  Mr Al Mady said that success can be achieved through ambitious strategy, innovation, best research and technology programmes, investment in partnerships and outstanding supply chain management. “These are all important ingredients in any successful growth story.”

The 2012 power list of the Top 50 CEOs will help business managers and readers understand the changing dynamics of business in the region.



High resolution imagery is available on request

About Mediaquest: partner in media, partner in digital, partner in events… partner in success


For more than 20 years, Mediaquest has provided unique insights into the Arab world through its diverse range of media. It operates in Algiers, Beirut, Dubai, Jeddah, Riyadh and Paris and publishes in three languages.

With more than 20 consumer and trade titles covering business, marketing, communications, women’s interests, lifestyle, entertainment and automotive, Mediaquest is one of the leading media companies in the Middle East and North Africa.

Mediaquest’s mission is to inform, educate and entertain audiences in the Mena region, providing a bridge between the Arab world and the West. It prides itself in providing unbiased analysis of the issues that matter most to the region.

Partner in publishing

Mediaquest Publishing – Business, corporate and consumer magazines. Celebrated titles include Arabies, Saneou Al Hadath, Trends, Gulf Marketing Review, Communicate, Haya, Raceweek,, Autocar Middle East with F1 Racing Middle East and Policy.

Partner in digital

dotmena – dotmena is fast becoming the premium network of choice for advertisers and publishers to expand their reach in the region. dotmena represents more than 2,000 websites in the fields of business, marketing, communications, sports, women’s interest, lifestyle and entertainment, allowing us to match the right ad to the right audience at the right time.

Partner in events

Mediaquest creates, project manages and delivers successful events, including:

  • ·         GMR Marketing to Women Conference: deconstructs conventional marketing wisdom to help unearth fresh insights, new attitudes and research to help marketers connect more deeply with one of the region’s most influential consumer bases.
  • ·         GEMAS Effie Mena Awards: the regional version of the world’s premier awards for marketing excellence, the Effie. It is one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the Middle East’s business calendar.
  • ·         Insurex: A Meeting of Minds from the Middle East Insurance Industry, bringing together insurers, reinsurers, brokers, regulators, risk managers, lawyers and consultants from across the region and international markets to discuss key trends and share best practice, creating an open platform for discussion, sharing information and networking.
  • ·         SPIA: The Sports Industry Awards is a joint venture between 360 Sport and Mediaquest, designed to showcase the relationship of sporting excellence and business. The inaugural event will take place in March 2013.



For more information please contact:


Christina Gregory

Four Communications

+971 (0)55 985 378

[email protected]

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