Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Al-Futtaim yet to name new chief

The next move for Al Futtaim, one of the UAE¿s largest retail and property companies, was unclear yesterday after its group chief executive resigned after less than a year for family reasons.

DUBAI // Al-Futtaim Group has yet to name a successor to its former chief executive Robert Willett, who has stepped down from the helm of one the UAE's largest retail and property groups.

Mr Willett, the former chief executive of the electronics retailer Best Buy International, was appointed to head Al-Futtaim, based in Dubai, last summer, making him one of the few external executives tasked with running a family-owned business in the Middle East. His departure, for "family reasons", emerged on Tuesday.

Al-Futtaim, whose brands include Marks & Spencer and Toyota, confirmed Mr Willett's resignation, but did not provide details of a succession.

"Mr Willett has resigned from the company for family reasons, and we have no further comment," said an Al-Futtaim spokesman.

Lisa Byfield-Green, a retail analyst with Planet Retail in London, said Mr Willett's resignation was "a loss for the company".

"Robert Willett had a formidable track record for laying down an international growth strategy at Best Buy, taking them into markets including China, Turkey and the UK," she said. "Willett had only been in the role with Al-Futtaim since [last summer], so has not yet had much opportunity to make an impact.

"But his appointment was significant in that it was unusual to have a non-family member running operations in the region. It will be interesting to see how the company chooses to replace him," she said.



Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

 The cooling towers of the Temelin nuclear power plant near the Tyn nad Vltavou in Czech Republic. The country wants to continue expanding nuclear energy capacity despite cancelling a tender to build two new units. David W Cerny / Reuters

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 17, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 17, 2014.

 Three generations of the Hakimi family tend to their stall Crawford Market in Mumbai. Subhash Sharma for The National

In pictures: Shopper’s delight at Crawford Market in Mumbai

Crawford Market is an old British-style covered market dealing in just about every kind of fresh food and domestic animal imaginable. Later on renamed Mahatma Jotirao Phule, the market remains popular among locals and visitors by its old name, taken from Arthur Crawford who was the first municipal commissioner of the city.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National