“Forbes magazine recently released its annual list of ‘The Most Powerful CEOs in the Middle East 2023,’ showcasing 100 business leaders who head the largest and most influential local companies in the region. Among these distinguished CEOs, Issam Al-Saqr, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of the National Bank of Kuwait Group, was crowned as the most powerful CEO in Kuwait, securing fifth place in the entire Middle East region, reported Al-Jarida Daily.

Forbes determined its rankings based on the CEOs’ accomplishments and performance in the previous year, as well as the innovative initiatives they implemented and their influence on the region, the countries they operate in, and the markets they oversee. The size of the companies they lead also played a significant role in the selection process.

Alongside Al-Saqr, Forbes honored other notable Kuwaiti CEOs on the list, including Nawaf Saud Al-Sabah of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, Bader Al-Kharafi of Zain Communications Company, Adana Al-Sabah of Kuwait Projects Holding Group, and Mohammed Al-Osaimi of Kuwait Stock Exchange Company. These executives have not only demonstrated exceptional leadership but have also contributed to the growth and development of their respective companies.

CEOs in the Middle East wield significant power and assume responsibilities that surpass those of their counterparts in other regions. They lead major companies that hold immense influence in the Arab world and are at the forefront of global leadership. This is partially attributed to the Gulf Cooperation Council countries’ investments in their sovereign wealth, which allows for substantial stakes in local corporations. Moreover, many government entities in the region own prominent banks, telecommunications firms, industrial powerhouses, oil and gas giants, mining corporations, and hospitality companies, making the role of CEOs even more demanding.

The responsibilities of these CEOs extend beyond managing profitability; they must also align with the government’s vision for their respective countries. Many of these leaders hold positions in government bodies, and some even serve as ministers or are part of ministerial councils. It is a multifaceted role that requires strategic thinking and effective decision-making to meet the demands of both their companies and their nations.

The Middle East region’s most powerful CEOs in 2023 are focused on sustainability, inclusion, and growth. Saudi Arabia, in particular, has diversified its economy by investing in various sectors. The acceleration of corporate transformation processes has strengthened these economies, and the merger of government-owned companies has resulted in the emergence of larger entities. Moreover, the region has witnessed numerous significant initial public offerings, further boosting the value of companies.

Furthermore, global events such as the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) held in Dubai have contributed to increased corporate profits. These events have provided opportunities for collaboration and innovation in various industries. Forbes’ third edition of ‘The Most Powerful CEOs in the Middle East 2023’ comprises 100 business leaders from 22 different nationalities.

Emiratis dominate the list with 23 CEOs, followed by Egyptians with 19 leaders, and Saudis with 18 CEOs. This trend indicates positive localization, as most major companies are now led by local CEOs. The banking sector tops the list, with approximately 17 companies, followed by real estate and construction with 14 companies, and communications with 9 companies.

Among the CEOs recognized in this year’s list are the heads of the world’s largest oil company, one of the largest liquefied natural gas companies globally, the busiest international airport, and one of the largest international airlines. Collectively, these 100 CEOs achieved revenues exceeding $1 trillion in 2022, with the combined value of their companies surpassing $5 trillion.

Read Today's News TODAY... on our Telegram Channel click here to join and receive all the latest updates t.me/thetimeskuwait