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Lubna Olayan Retires as CEO of Olayan Financing Co.; Jonathan Franklin Named New CEO

The Olayan Group has announced an important senior management change and another milestone on its path of planned succession.

Effective May 1, Lubna Olayan will retire as CEO of Olayan Financing Company (OFC), the Group’s Riyadh-based investment arm and holding company for the Middle East.  Ms. Olayan will remain a key member of the Group’s Corporate Board of Directors, Shareholders’ Board, and Olayan Family Council.  She will also continue to lead the Group’s philanthropic activities as president of the Suliman S. Olayan Foundation.

Jonathan Franklin, a senior executive at OFC, will take over as the company’s new CEO, also on May 1. He will continue to report to Ms. Olayan in her role as chairman of OFC’s Executive Committee.  Mr. Franklin also is a member of The Olayan Group’s Global Management Team headed by Group CEO Rob Leary. 

The announcement of the change was made jointly by Khaled Olayan and Hutham Olayan, who chair The Olayan Group’s Shareholder’s Board and Corporate Board, respectively. They commented:

“Lubna has served with distinction since first joining The Olayan Group some 36 years ago as an assistant to our founder, Suliman S. Olayan, in Riyadh. She has led OFC as its chief executive since 1986. Among many other achievements, Lubna presided over the rapid expansion of both investment activity and commercial operations in Saudi Arabia and the wider region. She is a leading private sector figure in Saudi Arabia.  She has been a consistent champion of women’s economic empowerment and a pathfinder in her own right.  Her influence extends near and far.”

They also noted that Lubna Olayan and Jonathan Franklin have worked closely together over the past 12 years and will continue to do so. “Prior to joining Olayan in 2007, Mr. Franklin had a distinguished international career in investment banking,” they stated.  “With this background and the various high-level roles he has played within our own organization, Jonathan brings deep knowledge and experience to his challenging new assignment as chief executive of Olayan Financing Company.”