Saudi Aramco is an oil refining company owned by Saudi Arabia state. The company was established in 1993; it produces, refines, distributes, and markets oil, as well as producing chemicals. The company has employed over 65,000 workers globally, and Amin H. Nasser is the current president and CEO of the company since the year 2015. What do you know about this business executive in charge of a multi-billion dollar firm? Learn a few details through these facts.
1. His training background.
Nasser attended the King Fahd University of Petroleum and graduated with a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering & minerals. In 1999 he went to Washington, DC, and further did the firm’s management development seminar. Nasser attended the company’s Global Business Program in 2001 before attending Columbia University for the Senior Executive Program in 2002.
2. How did he come to the position of CEO?
Nasser has been in a few leadership positions at the company. He has been in Saudi Aramco for over 30 years, having joined the company in 1982. He was appointed to work in various capacities in the drilling department, production department, engineering department, and reservoir department. In 1997 he was first appointed as the manager of Ras Tanura production department and later became the manager for the Northern Area production department. In 2004 Nasser became the Chief petroleum engineer and in 2005 was appointed as executive director of petroleum engineering and development. In 2006 he served the role of being the vice president of petroleum engineering and development and in 2007 acted as the business-line head of Exploration and Producing (E&P). In 2008 he was appointed as the senior vice president for Upstream operations, while in May 2015, he was the acting President and CEO until his position was confirmed in September 2015.
3. He encourages the career growth of his employees.
Nasser has enhanced the company's innovation and technology by applying improved strategies. He also has enhanced his employees' skills through training and education, considering that the business is in South Arabia; thus, accessing talent is not easy. Therefore, Nasser has to build skills from within, even if it means sending staff to university to develop and improve their skills. He has worked with human resources to find subordinate employees and groom them to become the next leaders of the company. In the next four years, he sees most of the percentage of employees being below the age of 30 since Nasser is supporting the company's program Advisory Board of Young Leaders. The program links the company's leadership with the opinions of young professionals.
4. He supports the growth of other small businesses.
Nasser supports the growing procurement needs of Saudi Aramco's SMEs (small-to-medium-sized enterprises) by advocating for accessibility, efficiency, and diversity in the supply chain.
5. What other business roles does he play?
Since 2008 he has been on the Industry Advisory Council for Saudi Aramco and International Business Council. He is a board member for Dhahran Techno-Valley Company and trustee for the King Abdullah University of Science & Technology. He is also on the board of trustees for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, International Business Council (IBC), and JP Morgan International Council.
6. He is environmentally conscious
Oil is a precious commodity that brings up ecological and geopolitical issues; hence oil-producing countries always attract interest from powerful countries who would like a choice of the pie. Nasser and his team of executives try to be involved in the discussions by participating in the World Economic Forums and Developing Country Discussions. They try to enlighten the public about the role that Aramco's petroleum will continue to play until they can transition to renewable sources of energy. He is already making an effort to protect the environment by investing in technologies that produce clean products and energy, such as renewable energy applications and next-generation fuel-engine interfaces. He also advocates for industries to incorporate efforts to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and encourages start-up companies to focus on providing solutions for cleaner energy.
7. He has received some awards.
In 2015, Nasser received Charles F. Rand Memorial Gold Medal award in recognition of his outstanding mining administration that included petroleum and metallurgy achievements. In 2017 he also received SPE's Lifetime Achievement Award because of his longtime membership in the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).
8. Nasser is leading the company to higher profit margins.
In 2018 Saudi Aramco was crowned the world's most profitable company with a net profit of $111 billion, which was bigger than Exxon Mobil Corp. and Apple Inc. combined. Last year, Mukesh Ambani announced the stake sale and the company's net profit for the first half of the year, which had slightly dropped to $46.9 billion as compared to the last year because of the lower prices of oil. Nevertheless, the company was still ahead of Apple that had $31.5 billion for the first half of the year. The excellent results are because Saudi Aramco invests wisely to ensure that they have the highest rate of possible return with Upstream being first followed by Downstream that comprises refining, chemical, trading, marketing, and many more.
9. Nasser has managed the company to be the most valuable.
The company's Initial Public Offer (IPO) was $25.6 billion that got traded on the Saudi Tadawul stock exchange. The IPO was the biggest offer in history, surpassing China's Alibaba IPO of $25 billion. The amount then reached $106 billion because of Saudi investment, thus surpassing the 10% limit stock price allowed by Tawadul. It took the company four years to get the IPO done, and it finally reached a value of $1.88 trillion, becoming the largest listed company worldwide. It consequently overtook Apple, which was $1.2 trillion.
10. He takes advantage of every opportunity to enlarge the business.
Aramco tries to leverage everything that they do to help the state economy by also partnering with manufacturing hubs, and educational institutions to create jobs. It is developing new relationships and venturing into sectors; they have the Joint Ventures department whose first section is the Domestic Joint Ventures and Affiliates such as the Johns Hopkins Aramco (JHAH) and Sadara Chemicals Company (SADARA). The second sector is the International Joint Ventures and Affiliates that includes companies like Prefchem, Malaysia, and Aramco Training Services Company, Houston.
Apart from Joint Investments, Saudi Aramco also has Equity Investments like SABIC and Power & Water Utility for Jubail & Yanbu (MARAFIQ). It has subsidiaries both domestically and internationally. In the domestic sector, they have companies like the National Cybersecurity Company and Wisayat Al Khaleej Investment Company companies. Saudi Aramco Asia Company Ltd (SAAC) in Beijing, China, and Aramco Overseas Company (AOC) in Europe give Saudi Aramco a global clientele. Aramco also has partnered with government academies such as the National Maritime Academy and National Construction Training Center, mainly for education and training purposes.
11. He hopes the company will be exporting oil by 2030
In his interview with Arab News, Nasser said that by 2030, 75% of the state's utility sector will be on gas. The remaining 25% will be nuclear and renewable alternatives. With that much gas, he said that the Kingdom will have enough for local consumption and export by pipeline or LNG, which will make the exporters for the first time.
12. He places a high value on the firm's customers
On September 14, 2019, Saudi Aramco was hit by18 drones, and three missiles, one month before the shares of the company, were to be sold. Saudi Arabia and the US governments blamed Iran, but the Houthi rebels from Yemen claimed responsibility. The attack destroyed about 5% of global production since it interfered with 7 million barrels per day in output. Forty-eight hours later, Nasser addressed that they would restore 12 million barrels by the end of November for both affected facilities. One month later, Saudi Aramco pumped 9.9 million barrels a day, which was the same as before the drones hit it. They used a set of tactics, as stated by the Fortune, to get back on track. The quick recovery showed how the CEO, staff, management team, and board of directors possessed skills on disaster management, emergency response, and Business continuity system; not even a single shipment to international customers got disrupted.
13. Nasser promotes gender equality in the company
In Saudi Arabia, only one-fifth of women get employed, and countable females are executives. In April 2018, the company announced that it was appointing five new members into the company's board of directors, one of them being Lynn Elsenhans. Elsenhans was the former chair and chief executive officer of the US oil refiner Sunoco. She is now the first woman on Aramco's board of directors.
14. He is looking to expand Saudi Aramco's portfolio.
In September 2019, Aramco successfully purchased 50% of Shell Saudi Arabia Refining Limited (SASREF). The company produces 305,000 barrels in a day, and its main products include fuel oil, liquefied petroleum gas, kerosene, diesel, naphtha, and Sulphur. Saudi Aramco's plan to increase the capacity and the complexity of its refineries was to start after the purchase. Shell also gained because they were making an effort to integrate their refining portfolio with the Shell Trading hubs and chemical operations.
15. His leadership skills are superb
Nasser is the president and also the face of Saudi Aramco, thus talks about the company in every interview he does. Nasser also addresses any issue that arises; for example, after the drone attack, he met his employees and investors to assured them that they would not miss any shipping, and things would be back to normal after a month. He also gives speeches to inspire the youth so that in future they would consider working for his company.
16. His employees are his greatest asset.
He ensures business goes on well by having the right employees to support the business strategy and makes sure that they perform the roles they have been assigned. It is this pursuit of excellence that has seen him pushing his employees to be at their best even when it comes at a cost to the company.
17. He has the decision-making capabilities required for the company
Nasser advocates for change on how the business gets done, occasionally by reinventing all the business procedures and systems within the company. The move was challenging because those procedures are the ones that brought the company to where it is; to convince people to do away with what they are used to will require a lot of convincing and a lot of execution. All the same, the management has already remodeled the planning process, strategy development, and capital project execution to get to the next 5%-10% of excellence. They seek to not only be the most profitable but also one with an excellent reputation.
18. He is accountable
Saudi Aramco is the only company that is large and has no debt on its balance sheet. They are financially stable and have a strong relationship with their investors, pay all their taxes in time, and fund their capital and operating expenditures. His excellent managerial skills have placed the company in a position where there is never a need to borrow money.
19. He is moving towards transparency.
Saudi Aramco opened up to the world recently because investors were becoming more interested in its contribution to climate change. To attract investors, the company has started publishing financial results, and Nasser is conducting more interviews. Transparency will, in turn, attract more people internationally. With the country also offers tourist visas to grow its gross domestic product by 10% by 2030, Aramco will not be left behind in making a significant financial leap.
20. He suffered setbacks in getting an IPO.
If it were up to Nasser, Saudi Aramco would have gone public years ago. Unfortunately, he faced a lot of skepticism from investors who were unsure of its valuation. However, after two years of pushing for the company to go public, Nasser finally managed, and his faith in the company was evident when he said that it is no ordinary company. Indeed it is not since the bond sale was a remarkable achievement in his career.
Written by Allen Lee
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