x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Aldar hunt for new chief moves a step closer

The search to appoint a new chief executive at the newly merged Abu Dhabi developer Aldar Properties moved a step closer when the company announced the resignation of the company's former chief executive.

Aldar has been searching for a new chief executive since the final decision to merge with Sorouh was announced in June. Delores Johnson / The National
Aldar has been searching for a new chief executive since the final decision to merge with Sorouh was announced in June. Delores Johnson / The National

The search to appoint a new chief executive at the Abu Dhabi developer Aldar Properties moved a step closer yesterday with the resignation of a former leader.

In an announcement yesterday on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange website, the company said that Sami Haydar Asad, who had been Aldar's chief executive before its merger with rival Sorouh, had departed for "private personal reasons" and that his resignation would be effective tomorrow.

Mr Asad had in March signalled his intention to leave the company when the merger was approved by shareholders.

Aldar has been searching for a chief executive since the final decision to merge was made in June.Last week, the chief financial officer Greg Fewer said that the company was still in the recruiting process.

"The search process for the new CEO is running its normal course," he said. He added that the company's recruitment consultants were looking at candidates from around the world, as well as within the UAE.

Mr Fewer said that Aldar was midway through its integration process, which he said would lead to annual savings of between Dh90 million and Dh100m although he declined to say how many jobs would be lost as part of the process.

Shares in Aldar rose 2.55 per cent yesterday to close at Dh2.82 each.

"As an investor we are pleased with what [Mr Asad] has done for the company, especially with regards to the refinancing," said Sebastien Henin, the frontier markets portfolio manager at The National Investor in Abu Dhabi. "The point is that whoever they bring in to manage this company, no matter how sharp he is or whatever his background, it won't change the environment in which the company is operating. The Abu Dhabi property market is still not performing."

Mr Asad joined Aldar in 2008 as technical director and was promoted to the role of chief operating officer in the same year. Previously, he was deputy vice president of projects at Dolphin Energy for five years and has occupied various managerial positions at Adnoc.

 

lbarnard@thenational.ae