GCC Board of Directors Institute Concludes 6th Cha...

GCC Board of Directors Institute Concludes 6th Chairman Summit in Riyadh

Business leaders gathered in Riyadh to explore latest trends in digital transformation, corporate governance practices and transparency


Riyadh-Saudi Arabia: 18 December, 2018 – The GCC Board of Directors Institute (GCC BDI), a not-for-profit organization, and Elm, a digital business solutions provider, recently convened their 6th Annual Chairman Summit in Riyadh. The Summit attracted over 110 influential chairmen, board directors and C-suite executives from across the GCC-region.

Titled ‘Digital Disruption and the Fourth Industrial Revolution – Are boards ready?’, the summit had business leaders considering appropriate board strategies in the digital age. Other issues discussed included cyber security, IT governance, the skill sets required to embrace disruptive technologies and the transformation of business processes through blockchain technology and artificial intelligence.

Opening the event, His Excellency Eng. Abdullah A. AlSwaha, Minister of Communications and Information Technology of Saudi Arabia, said: “The Saudi Arabian Government is taking a leading-edge position in technological transformation and encourages the private sector to embrace innovation and disruption to traditional business practices. In Saudi Arabia, end users are digitally sophisticated and demanding, and they expect new solutions grounded in advanced technology.”

Concluding his remarks, His Excellency highlighted five key areas for board directors to reflect on to ensure success in today’s technological transformation climate: Innovation Culture, Agility, Smart Risk Taking, Customer-Centric Approach, and Attracting and Retaining the Right Talent.

Mohammed Al-Shroogi, Chairman of GCC BDI, echoing this bold transformational thinking, said: “Technology contributes to an ever-changing political, economic and social landscape. Given the important mandate that board members have in navigating uncertainties in the corporate world, staying abreast with the most pressing developments is vital. The Chairman Summit has once again provided a platform for experts, executives and government regulators from around the world to share their insights. Doing so will enable stakeholders to stimulate new ways of thinking to optimize their current corporate governance structures.”

Dr Abdulrahman AlJadhai, Chief Executive Officer of Elm, said: “Organizations must be pragmatic, invest in innovation and education, and also consider new business models and the evolution of user experience at scale. If you embrace change you will eventually transform your organization’s business practices in an organic manner. This goes beyond putting in place a ’digital strategy‘ and adopting new ways to look at return on investment by discarding certain traditional approaches. Agility through innovation can also come from all areas of the business and across the value chain.”

While His Excellency Eng. Abdullah A. AlSwaha, Minister of Communications and Information Technology of Saudi Arabia, delivered the keynote address, Mohammed Al-Shroogi, Chairman of GCC BDI, and Dr Abdulrahman AlJadhai, the CEO of Elm, welcomed the audience to the jointly organized Summit. James Bilefield, a renowned serial entrepreneur, also participated as a guest speaker and Zeyad Khoshaim, Managing Partner at Khoshaim & Associates, moderated and participated in one of the summit’s insightful panel discussions.

Other speakers included: Abdulrahman Tarabzouni, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of STV; Evans Munyuki, Group Chief Digital Officer at Emirates NBD; Ihab Foudeh, General Manager – Public Sector MENA at Microsoft; Lino Cattaruzzi, Managing Director – MENA of Google; Omar Hashem, Head of Digital and Technology at The National Commercial Bank; Dr Hans-Martin Stockmeier, Senior Partner at McKinsey; Matthew White, Partner and Head of Digital Trust and Blockchain Leader, Middle East at PwC; Rashid M Al Ballaa, Managing Director at National Technology Group; Richard Guest, Partner at Heidrick & Struggles, Vinay Chandran, Digital Partner at McKinsey; Wael Fattouh, Partner, Cybersecurity and Technology Risk at PwC; and Xavier Anglada, Managing Director and Digital Lead – MENA & Turkey at Accenture.

The GCC BDI Chairman Summit is an annual leadership event held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It brings together influential chairmen, board directors and C-suite executives from across the GCC region and beyond, to explore the ever-evolving role of boards and the implementation of best practices in corporate governance.


About GCC Board of Directors Institute

Launched in 2007, the GCC Board Directors Institute (GCC BDI) is a not-for-profit organization that guides board directors of organizations, from family-owned businesses to listed companies, to acquire the know-how and the tools to reach and sustain effective governance.

GCC BDI was founded by four leading regional corporations – Investcorp, SABIC, Saudi Aramco and Emirates NBD – and it is supported by four advisory firms: Allen & Overy, Heidrick & Struggles, McKinsey & Company and PwC, as well as the regional regulatory authorities, including the Emirates Security and Commodities Authority, the Capital Market Authorities of both Saudi Arabia and Oman, Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority and the Central Banks of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

GCC BDI now works with over 1200 alumni members who benefit from a network of senior business leaders and a variety of workshops designed for board directors and senior executives. Notably, the institute hosts an annual Chairman Summit that brings together regional leaders and players to explore the evolving role and value of boards as well as appropriate corporate governance standards.

Today the institute is globally recognized and the only directors institute from the region to be admitted to the Global Network of Director Institutes.

Visit GCC BDI’s website at to learn more.


About Elm

Founded in 1986, Elm is a listed company owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF). Elm’s mission is to help clients thrive in the ever-growing global economy by synthesising the powers of technology and creativity and designing knowledge-based solutions.

Elm delivers digital business solutions to clients in an array of sectors, from individual small-business owners to high-level government firms. It provides integrated professional development solutions; intuitive and efficient outsourcing; and professional support, guiding clients towards increasing productivity and utilising technology effectively.

Elm’s customer base currently comprises over 25,000 private and public organizations and individual customers, helping them achieving remarkable results in increased efficiency in addition to cost and time reduction.

Visit Elm’s website at to learn more. 

For more information, please contact:


Christoph Diesch

APCO Worldwide

+ 971 55 134 0892


Imaan Jooma

APCO Worldwide

+971 4 361 3333