Meet The Top Regional Executives On Forbes Middle East’s Global Meets Local List 2023


Meet The Top Regional Executives On Forbes Middle East’s Global Meets Local List 2023

These are the top executives leading the regional offices for the world’s biggest Forbes Global 2000 companies.

  • Sustainability and social responsibility rank high among regional leaders’ priorities, with technology being the most represented sector, boasting 15 entries.
  • The executives represent 41 nationalities, with France, India, and Lebanon leading with 10 entries each.

Forbes Middle East has revealed the eleventh installment of its flagship Global Meets Local ranking, showcasing the regional heads of the top 100 multinational corporations that have masterfully navigated the unique MENA business landscapes, leaving an indelible mark on the region’s growth, development, and cultural integration.

The 2023 list spotlights 103 exceptional executives at the helm of regional offices for 100 Forbes Global 2000 companies. To compile this list, Forbes Middle East analyzed this year’s Forbes Global 2000 list, identifying companies with significant MENA operations. The top-ranking executives from their regional headquarters were then ranked based on factors such as the impact and scope of their role, sustainability and CSR initiatives, business size, personal achievements, and public recognition.

Diversity in nationality and sector

The executives represent 41 nationalities. France, India, and Lebanon lead with 10 executives each, followed by the U.K. and Germany with eight and six executives, respectively.

The list covers a diverse spectrum of 33 sectors, reflecting their multifaceted contributions to the region’s prosperity. Technology emerges as the frontrunner with 15 entries, followed closely by 11 pharmaceutical companies and seven automotive industry leaders. Of the 100 companies, 48% hail from the U.S.

Regional leader's top priorities

With COP28 set to be hosted by the U.A.E. later this year, the business titans featured on this year’s ranking are placing sustainability at the forefront. For instance, in 2022, DHL Express’ Nour Suliman led the complete solar panel installations at its facilities in Jordan, Iraq, and the U.A.E. and introduced nine new electric vehicles to the region. Standard Chartered’s Sunil Kaushal – the highest-ranked banking executive – spearheaded the first sustainability-linked loan by a private company, Landmark Group, in 2022 and issued the first Green Guarantee in Qatar in partnership with Siemens Energy in March 2023. Whereas, in June 2023, Henkel’s Ashraf ElAfifi launched two Net Carbon Neutral Production Units in the region.

Investments in AI solutions have also gained momentum and become a shared focal point among tech companies. In 2022, Intel established an AI Research and Development Center in Dubai, and Lenovo announced an investment in AI of $1 billion over three years after recording an annual AI in infrastructure revenue of over $2 billion. Most recently, in July 2023, Google launched its generative AI experiment “Bard” in Arabic.


Click here for the complete ranking of the Global Meets Local 2023.

Global Meets Local 2023 – Top 10

1. Samer Abu-Ltaif

Company: Microsoft

Designation: Corporate Vice President & President – Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa

Nationality: Lebanese

Global Headquarters: U.S.

Sector: Technology

2. Omar Channawi

Company: Procter & Gamble (P&G)

Designation: CEO –Middle East, Pakistan and Global Entrepreneurial Markets & Senior Vice President of Sales – Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa

Nationality: Moroccan

Global Headquarters: U.S.

Sector: Consumer Goods

3. Yasser Abdul Malak

Company: Nestlé Middle East  

Designation: Chairman and CEO – MENA

Nationality: Lebanese

Global Headquarters: Switzerland

Sector: Food and Beverage

4. Dimitrios Dosis

Company: Mastercard

Designation: President – Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa

Global Headquarters: U.S.

Nationality: German

Sector: Technology

5. Kuljit Ghata-Aura

Company: Boeing

Designation: President – Middle East, Türkiye and Africa

Nationality: British

Global Headquarters: U.S.

Sector: Aerospace

6. Anthony Nakache

Company: Google

Designation: Managing Director – MENA

Nationality: French

Global Headquarters: U.S.

Sector: Technology

7. Ronaldo Mouchawar

Company: Amazon

Designation: Vice President – MENA

Nationality: Syrian-American

Global Headquarters: U.S.

Sector: Technology


8. Shazia Syed

Company: Unilever

Designation: General Manager – North Africa, Levant and Iraq & Arabia Senior Customer Development Lead

Nationality: Pakistani

Global Headquarters: U.K.

Sector: Consumer Goods

9. Andrew Buckingham

Company: The Coca-Cola Company  

Designation: Vice President and General Manager – Middle East

Nationality: British

Global Headquarters: U.S.

Sector: Food and Beverage

10. John W. Nicholson

Company: Lockheed Martin

Designation: CEO – Middle East

Nationality: American

Global Headquarters: U.S.

Sector: Aerospace

About Forbes Middle East

Forbes Middle East is a licensed edition of Forbes for the Arab world, championing inspiring business journalism and entrepreneurial capitalism. Its online and social platforms break news covering billionaires, business, investment, technology, economy, entrepreneurship, leadership, and luxury lifestyles. The monthly magazine, featuring in-depth interviews with the Middle East’s most influential and innovative leaders, is published in print in English and Arabic, with digital versions available to both regional and global audiences online. Forbes Middle East extends the Forbes brand of journalism across the Arab world, conducting its own comprehensive research to publish original lists that adhere to strict methodologies. Its content attracts business leaders, investors, active and potential entrepreneurs, and a wide audience of ambitious and influential executives.

Media contact: Basma Aly Sadek – basma@forbesmiddleeast.com

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