Board Monitor Saudi Arabia 2022
Boards & Governance

Board Monitor Saudi Arabia 2022

Our first look at incoming directors at listed companies from across Saudi Arabia shows a local preference for active executives.
About the report
This report is part of Heidrick & Struggles’ long-standing study of trends in board composition in countries around the world. Produced by our CEO & Board Practice, these reports track and analyze trends in nonexecutive director appointments to the boards of the largest publicly listed companies in Australia (ASX 200), Belgium (BEL 20), Brazil (B3), Canada (TSX 60), Denmark (OMX Copenhagen 25), Finland (OMX Helsinki 25), France (CAC 40), Germany (DAX and MDAX), Hong Kong (Hang Seng), Ireland (ISEQ), Italy (FTSE MIB), Mexico (BMV IPC), the Netherlands (AEX), New Zealand (NZX 10), Norway (OBX), Portugal (PSI 20), Saudi Arabia (Tadawul), Singapore (STI 30), South Africa (JSE Top 40), Spain (IBEX 35), Sweden (OMX 30), Switzerland (SMI Expanded), the United Arab Emirates (ADX and DFM), the United Kingdom (FTSE 350), and the United States (Fortune 500). Information about executives is gathered from publicly available sources, BoardEx, and a Heidrick & Struggles proprietary database.

Over the past few years, the world has experienced an unprecedented series of events that have fundamentally changed communities and organizations, and which, in many countries, have thereby changed the fundamental contract between organizations and the communities within which they do business. In Saudi Arabia, those events occurred in the context of a fundamental transformation of the public sector operating model and economy. The country’s Vision 2030 aims to provide a blueprint that will enable the Kingdom to create a more diverse and sustainable economy as well as use its strategic location to become an integral driver of international trade. 

A key pillar of the vision is a focus on increasing the appeal and effectiveness of local industries, which, in turn, stimulates job creation for local people and attracts more investment. The 2030 vision supports the advancement of non-oil sectors such as digital, renewable energy, tourism, and retail.  

As Saudi Arabian companies diversify their operations and step up their engagement on the global stage, they will need to continue their efforts to catch up with global corporate governance trends in areas including board composition, effectiveness, and resilience. Doing this will require boards to have more independent members with diversified skill sets and experience. Board members should be able to fully apply the various dimensions of the principles of good governance—such as strategy, performance, and succession planning—to the unique circumstances of each organization, shaping strong corporate cultures and communicating transparently.1  Internationally, boards are also expected to lead their organizations in driving a purpose-led culture; to own the conversation with employees about how strategy, purpose, and culture need to blend to enable sustainable growth; and to consider factors such as diversity, inclusion, and wellness as core to good operations.


BM Saudi Arabia chart


For more information, download the full Board Monitor Saudi Arabia 2022 report.


Thanks to Richard Guest and Maliha Jilani for their contributions to this report.


1 For more on trends in board governance in the GCC, see “Developing directors,” GCC Board Directors’ Institute,

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