Lubna Olayan

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Lubna S. Olayan
Lubna S. Olayan World Economic Forum 2013.jpg
Olayan at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in 2013
Born (1955-08-04) August 4, 1955 (age 59)
Saudi Arabia
Nationality Saudi
Occupation Business woman
Known for First woman in Saudi Arabian history to give opening keynote address at a major conference in Saudi Arabia.


Lubna Suliman Olayan (born August 4, 1955) is a Saudi business woman. Born to Suliman Olayan and Maryam bint Jassim Al Abdulwahab. Considered to be one of the most influential businesswomen in the world; as was listed as one of the top 100 most influential people of 2005 by Time magazine, and has continued to be on the Forbes list of most powerful women till 2011 and has returned to the list in 2014. In 2004, Ms. Olayan was the first woman in Saudi history to deliver an opening keynote address at a major conference in Saudi Arabia; at the Jeddah Economic Forum.[citation needed] As of 2014, she is listed as the 86th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.[1]

Career highlights[edit]

Lubna S. Olayan is the chief executive officer of the Olayan Financing Company[2] (OFC), the holding entity for the Olayan Group's operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Middle East; she also sits on the board of the group along with her brother Khaled and sisters Hayat and Hutham. It is thought that the private family has accumulated a fortune that tops $10 billion. The group was founded in 1947 by her father, the late successful entrepreneur Sulaiman S. Olayan, The Olayan Group is a private multinational enterprise engaged in distribution, manufacturing, services and investments. OFC operates or actively participates in more than 40 companies, often in partnership with leading multinationals. OFC is also one of the largest investors in the Saudi and regional stock markets.

In February 2005, Olayan was appointed as a non-executive director to the Board of WPP, and in December 2004, was elected to sit on the Board of the Saudi Hollandi Bank, a publicly listed company in Saudi Arabia. In September 2006 and April 2007, she joined the International Advisory Boards of Rolls-Royce and Citigroup, respectively. Olayan also served on the Board of Chelsfield plc, the UK property developer, from 1996 to 2004. She is a member of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum, and the International Advisory Board of the Council on Foreign Relations, which she joined in November and December of 2005 respectively. In 2010, she was awarded the Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year.[3] As of 2014, she is listed as the 86th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.[1]

Other activities[edit]

In terms of education and philanthropy, Olayan joined the Board of Directors of INSEAD in December 2005, and has been a member of its International Council since March 1997. In April 2007, she was elected as a member of the Board of Trustees for Cornell University. Olayan also joined the Advisory Board of Effat College, a private and non-profit girls college in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in April 2006. She is also a board member at Alfanar, the first venture philanthropy organization focussing on the Arab Region founded by Tarek Ben Halim in 2004. Olayan has served on the Board of Trustees of the "Arab Thought Foundation," a think tank based in Beirut focusing on issues facing the Arab world, since January 2002. Olayan was elected to the Board of the Down Syndrome Charitable Association in June 2005, a not-for-profit organization based in Riyadh. She was also appointed to the Board of Trustees of King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST).

Personal life[edit]

She is married to an international attorney, John Xefos and they have three daughters all living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women". Forbes. Forbes. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "Revealed: 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2012". Arabian Business. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Lubna Olayan named Cornell Entrepreneur of the year 2010". Cornell Chronicle. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  • Interview in the Arab News [1]
  • "A Saudi Vision for Growth" - 2004 speech at the Jeddah Economic Forum [2]

Sources[edit]

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