Former IBM exec joins Gulf Business Machines as CEO

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Gulf Business Machines (GBM) has announced the appointment of Amr Refaat as chief executive officer for the company’s regional operations.

Refaat joins from IBM, where he was general manager and vice president of IBM’s Middle East and Pakistan operations. He is taking over from Martin Tarr, who had decided to leave GBM earlier in the year.

“The board is delighted to announce Refaat’s appointment,” said Nabil Iskander, chairman, GBM. “His decades of experience in key technologies such as cloud, analytics and Artificial Intelligence, combined with his leadership skills make him perfectly suited to lead GBM at this critical time. Having spent the most substantial portion of his career working within the industry in the region, he has a deep understanding of our customers’ profiles and how best to serve them, and he has a proven track record of implementing growth strategies, overseeing employee development and creating value for stakeholders. The Board looks forward to his contribution to GBM and its customers across the region.”

Prior to joining GBM, Refaat worked with IBM for over 30 years. Under his leadership, IBM expanded its presence in the Middle East region by opening offices in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Abu Dhabi and launching two client centres in the UAE, as well as IBM’s first Digital Design Studio in Dubai. Refaat graduated from Cairo University with a Bachelor’s degree (Hons) in Electrical Engineering. He went on to secure an MBA with distinction in International Business from the Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands.

“I am delighted to be part of such a transformative organisation and I’m looking forward to working with the team here at GBM to build on the success of the past 29 years,” said Refaat. “Together with the team, I will continue to focus on supporting our clients’ digital transformation journey and preparing their businesses for tomorrow.”

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