(EnergyAsia, August 21 2012, Tuesday) — US business conglomerate GE has promoted Hisham Albahkali, previously Saudi Arabia’s executive for GE Energy, to President and CEO for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

A Saudi national, Mr Albahkali will lead GE’s expansion in its diverse range of businesses including oil and gas, power, water, aviation and healthcare in addition to aligning the company’s development programmes in line with the Saudi Vision 2020 to promote diversification and knowledge sharing.

Starting his GE career in 1997 as a GE Energy customer service manager, he has since been promoted to a number of leadership roles. Mr Albahkali holds a Masters degree in Electronic Technology and a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from King Saud University in the Saudi city of Riyadh.

Nabil Habayeb, GE’s President and CEO for the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, said:

“Saudi Arabia is one of our core markets in the region, where we have established long-term partnerships in growth sectors that bring a positive difference to the well-being of the people. We will continue to partner with the kingdom’s growth goals emphasising on economic diversification, creating jobs for its talented youngsters and promoting regional research.

“Hisham Albahkali has tremendous insights into the Saudi Arabian market having been associated with several key projects, and will work towards further driving our growth in the kingdom.”

Mr Albahkali said: “Saudi Arabia is witnessing one of the most exciting developmental phases, with strong investments in new and emerging technologies. GE’s focus on creating localised solutions and investing in long-term development will be strong assets in supporting the kingdom.

“Our priority areas will be to strengthen our existing partnerships, and continuing to create more growth opportunities for skilled Saudi professionals.”

Saudi Arabia is home to GE’s largest Middle East workforce with over 1,000 employees.