ZAWYA informs that 42% of UAE CEOs are non-nationals, and 5% are women, compared to global averages of 24% and 6%, therefore CEO appointments in the UAE surpass pre-pandemic highs per a recent report. Would this statement of fact have any meaning other than those consequent to the pandemic?
The image above is for illustration and is of the UAE appointing a new Governor.
The appointment of new CEOs has surpassed pre-pandemic highs as companies demonstrate confidence about their prospects and their ability to find the right leader, according to a new report.
The Route to the Top 2021 by Heidrick & Struggles showed that the number of CEOs appointed across 14 countries was up 22.6 percent in the first half of 2021 when compared with the first half of 2018, and up 181 percent compared with the second half of 2020.
The report showed that 42 percent of CEOs in the UAE are non-nationals, compared with a global average of 24 percent, and five percent are women, compared with a global average of six percent. Of the 14 countries surveyed, Ireland had the highest proportion of female CEOs at 14 percent, while Hong Kong had the highest proportion of non-national CEOs at 76 percent.
More than a third of UAE CEOs (35 percent) had previous CEO experience in their last two roles.
Globally, newly appointed CEOs are more likely to be women (11 percent) and to be from countries other than where the company is headquartered (30 percent) and to have cross-border experience 46 percent.
In the UAE, 42 percent of new CEOs have advanced degrees, 16 percent have cross-border experience, and 23 percent have less than one year of experience as CEOs.
Other findings are that 42 percent of UAE CEOs were appointed before the age of 45 but the average age is 55, 30 percent were formerly heads of divisions but only two percent had previous COO experience, compared to 14 percent globally.
“Looking ahead, COVID 19 has raised expectations on the role of businesses in addressing concerns such as climate, equality, cybersecurity and other external realities; boards are rethinking the process of the CEO succession to cope with these changes, said Alain Deniau, head of CEO and board of directors practice, Heidrick & Struggles, MENA.
“This means that companies will open up to new perspectives and ideas. In addition, we expect more attention to shift towards leadership skills rather than specific skills.”
(Writing by Imogen Lillywhite; Editing by Seban Scaria)