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Highest earning Saudi executive paid $3.3m in 2022

petrol station Shutterstock
The two highest-paid Saudi executives, both employed by Sasco, benefited from substantial bonuses after it purchased 80% of petrol station operator Naft
  • Sasco bosses took the top two spots for Saudi executive pay in 2022
  • Board earnings in Saudi Arabia have risen in the past two years
  • CEO salaries vary greatly and include incentives and equity options

With total earnings of $3.3 million, the chairman of Saudi Automotive Services Co was the highest paid executive of listed companies in the kingdom last year, as pay for senior officials and board members continues to rise.

Ibrahim Al Hudaithi topped the list compiled by Saudi financial news platform Argaam, with total earnings of SAR12.4 million ($3.3 million), up from SAR240,000 in 2021.

Saudi Automotive Services Co (Sasco) acquired 80 percent of gas stations operator Naft Services Company in April 2022 as part of its expansion strategy. Its senior executives received healthy bonuses once the deal closed.

Sultan Al Hudaithi, managing director of Sasco, also saw a healthy rise from the Naft deal and ranked second on the pay list, with SAR11.5 million, up from SAR2.7 million in 2021.

The surge in earnings came on the back of a 76 percent rise in Sasco’s net profit for 2022. CEO Riyadh Almalik told Al Ekhbariya TV last month it is predicting equally robust growth in 2023, with the number of fuel stations set to increase from 515 at present to almost 700 in the near future.

Third on the list was Mohamed Abdelellah Al Khereiji, an executive board member at Arabian Contracting Services Co (Al Arabia).

His earnings of almost SAR9 million last year come as the advertising firm reported a net profit of SAR274 million for 2022, an increase of 33 percent.

Abdullah Al Othaim Markets Co CEO Muwaffaq Mansour was fourth with SAR7.7 million. The food company’s net profits soared to SAR1 billion in 2022, up from SAR300 million the previous year.

Rounding out the top five was Seera Group Holding’s executive board member Majed bin Ayed Al-Nefaie, with SAR6.6 million.

Last month Seera Group announced its first operating profit since the coronavirus pandemic as the kingdom continues to emerge as a global tourism destination.

Just outside the top 10, at number 11, was Ammar Al Khudairy, former chairman of Saudi National Bank (SNB) – the kingdom’s biggest lender – who had total earnings of SAR5.5 million.

SNB’s profits jumped 47 percent to SAR18.6 billion in 2022, but Al Khudairy resigned for “personal reasons” in March, just weeks after he told Reuters the bank would not increase its shares in Switzerland’s beleaguered Credit Suisse, later taken over by rival UBS.

Growing remuneration

The publicly declared salaries reflect the fact that pay for Saudi executives, board members and chairmen has been on the rise, according to Dubai-based Ewan Walton, senior business director at recruitment agency Hays.

“Only two years ago, there was a significant shift in Saudi Arabia with regards to the importance of board governance, responsibilities and memberships,” he said. “This, along with increased accountability and expectations, resulted in a marked increase in board member pay.

“As such, board member earnings in Saudi are now comparable to those in the other top 20 economies, and there is a much smaller gap in terms of governance and effectiveness.”

Real GDP in Saudi Arabia grew by 8.7 percent last year, largely as a result of increased oil activities, helping the country’s fiscal balance to record its first surplus since 2013.

At the same time, total profits for listed companies on the Tadawul stock exchange – excluding oil giant Saudi Aramco – rose 15 percent to SAR157.6 billion, according to Argaam data.

Research by recruitment platforms Gulf Talent and Payscale found the average monthly salary for CEOs in Saudi Arabia to be about SAR45,000 ($12,250).

However, Walton said salaries for CEOs of major Saudi organisations ranged from SAR180,000 to 250,000 per month, with annual average incentives as high as 100 percent.

He estimated that at mainstream companies “where the emphasis is typically on stability and the bottom line, but the responsibilities are still true to a CEO role”, salaries averaged around SAR120,000 to 150,000 per month, plus up to 50 percent in incentives.

Jack Khabbaz, head of the CEO practice and public sector advisory at recruitment firm Cooper Fitch, said that Saudi CEO pay scales vary on the size, scale, operations and industry. He added that it was difficult to find a definitive industry average, especially as total earnings are made up of a mix of fixed salaries, equity options and short and long term incentives.

Highest paid executives of Saudi listed companies in 2022

  1. Ibrahim Al Hudaithi, chairman and head of executive committee, Saudi Automotive Services Co (Sasco) – SAR12.4m
  2. Sultan Al Hudaithi, executive board member and managing director, Sasco – SAR11.5m
  3. Mohamed Abdelellah Al Khereiji, CEO and executive board member, Arabian Contracting Services Co (Al Arabia) – SAR8.9m
  4. Muwaffaq Bin Mansour, CEO, Abdullah Al Othaim Markets Co – SAR7.7m
  5. Majed bin Ayed Al-Nefaie, executive board member, Seera Group Holding – SAR6.6m
  6. Riyadh Almalik, CEO, Sasco – SAR6.4m
  7. Abdulrahman Ibrahim Rwaita, chairman, Saudi Research and Media Group – SAR6.3m
  8. Ibrahim Al Alwan, CEO, Saudi Real Estate Co (Al Akaria) – SAR5.7m
  9. Abdullah Aldawood, executive board member, Seera Group Holding – SAR5.7m
  10. Yousseri Abdel Hamid Abdel Aziz El Bishry, CEO, Saudi Paper – SAR5.5m
  11. Ammar A Al Khudairy, chairman and head of executive committee, Saudi National Bank – SAR5.5m
  12. Moataz Qusay Al-Azzawi, chairman, Herfy Food Services Co – SAR5.3m
  13. Abdulmohsen Al Dosari, former executive board member, Nayifat Finance – SAR5.3m
  14. Unlisted CEO, Saudi Industrial Services Co – SAR5.2m
  15. Jameel Al Mulhem, managing director, Takween Advanced Industries Co – SAR4.4m


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