Depa co-founder in abrupt departure

Mohannad Sweid resigns for “personal reasons” just months after Arabtec CEO was appointed as Depa chairman
Depa co-founder in abrupt departure
By Ed Attwood
Wed 09 Oct 2013 12:17 PM

The co-founder and chief executive of Dubai-based interior contracting giant Depa has left the company, just under a year after a 25 percent stake in the firm was bought by Arabtec.

In an announcement on the Nasdaq Dubai website, Depa said that Mohannad Sweid had resigned from his role “for personal reasons”, and that the firm’s Dubai office head, Nadim Akhrass had taken over as acting chief executive.

In a separate statement, Depa announced that it had hired Ernst & Young to “undertake a comprehensive review of the company’s financial position and operations along with an assessment of its operating model and business environment”. The review is expected to be concluded by the first quarter of next year.

In June, Arabtec CEO Hasan Abdullah Ismaik was appointed Depa’s chairman, and four other Arabtec executives were also voted onto Depa’s board.

Arabian Business also understands that Noor Sweid, Depa’s longstanding managing director for strategy, has also left the company.

The abrupt management changes mirror those that took place at Arabtec itself, after Abu Dhabi investment fund Aabar became the Dubai contractor’s largest shareholder in 2012.

The boardroom overhaul at Arabtec saw founder and chief executive Riad Kamal and chief financial officer Ziad Makhzoumi depart the firm in February this year.

Sweid co-founded Depa in 1996 and grew the firm through a series of acquisitions and partnerships to become one of the world’s biggest interior contracting companies.

Depa listed on the Nasdaq Dubai in 2008, and has worked on several high-profile projects, including Dubai International Airport, the Armani Hotel in the Burj Khalifa, the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai and the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha.

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