Hutham Olayan to Chair Olayan Group Board
Hutham Olayan has been named the new chairperson of The Olayan Group’s Corporate Board. Ms. Olayan succeeds Aziz Syriani, who has chaired the board since its formation in 2013 and will remain a director. The change will take effect at the board’s next meeting in October 2018.
Ms. Olayan has been a director of the Group since 1981 and headed the Group’s investment activity in the Americas for 32 years, until December 2017 when she relinquished her responsibilities as CEO of New York-based Olayan America. Her influence has been far-reaching both within and outside the Group. She is a founding member of the Arab Bankers Association of North America (ABANA) and a former pioneering director of Thermo Electron Corporation. She served for 25 years as a trustee of the American University of Beirut (AUB) and remains involved there with the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business, which she helped create. Her current outside board affiliations include Morgan Stanley, IBM, Peterson Institute for International Economics, The MasterCard Foundation, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Meantime, two new directors have joined the Corporate Board that Ms. Olayan will lead. One is Rob Leary, formerly a senior executive at TIAA and Nuveen who joined The Olayan Group in 2017 as its new global CEO. The other is Dominic Barton, the immediate past global managing partner of McKinsey & Company, the international consulting firm.
This expands the board’s membership from seven to nine directors and increases the number of independent directors to four. In addition to Mr. Barton, the outside directors are Erik Brenninkmeijer, John Jeffry Louis III, and Timothy P. Smucker. The inside directors are Khaled Olayan, Aziz Syriani, Hutham Olayan, Lubna Olayan, and Robert Leary.