By Andrew Seymour
Networking giant Cisco is mounting a search for a general manager in Saudi Arabia
Networking giant Cisco is mounting a search for a general manager in Saudi Arabia after confirming that Dr. Badr Al-Badr will shortly transition to a new role inside the company.
Al-Badr, who has led the Saudi operation for four years, is poised to join Cisco’s ‘Globalisation’ team where he will report to Wim Elfrink, the vendor’s India-based executive VP for services and chief globalisation officer.
Cisco’s operations director in Saudi Arabia, Matthew Smith, will fill in for Al-Badr until a permanent successor is found.
“In his new role, Dr. Badr will be responsible for engaging on strategic global opportunities and mega deals, such as intelligent urbanisation,” revealed a spokesperson at Cisco.
“Matthew Smith has been appointed general manager ad-interim for Saudi Arabia while we search for Dr Badr's successor. Matthew brings years of experience in the Middle East, currently heading up operations in Saudi Arabia for Cisco. Matthew is an integral member of the daily and strategic operations within the region.”
Al-Badr has been the face of Cisco Saudi Arabia for the past four years, using the experience gained from previous assignments with Advanced Digital Technology and Arabian Internet and Communications Company to turn the operation into one of the vendor’s fastest growing subsidiaries.
Cisco is adamant that a change of guard doesn’t alter the fact that the Saudi market continues to be an important territory for the company.
“Cisco’s commitment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia remains unchanged. We will continue to drive our business forward, and KSA continues to be a key area of focus with a strong growth potential and a talented workforce in the country,” said the spokesperson.For all the latest tech news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Badr was the face of Cisco in Saudi for the past couple of years. How can you replace him with a foreigner? And how can you say he's moving to what seems to be a side role? What's going on???
Badr has been Cisco face for quite a time. I think this is a big reflection of Cisco Business in Saudi Market. Most will see the transition clearly a demotion then anything else. Given the current vulnerable and dynamic nature of Saudi Market, Cisco will need a capable GM to take the reign as soon as possible to secure Cisco Partners and Cisco Professionals working in the Kingdom. Just me and five cents.
If Cisco were looking for a foreign national- it would need to be someone who is known and respected within the region. Two guys that come to mind include Mohammed Malik or Jonathon Saunders. Both are ex Cisco people. My money would be on saunders- if they know where he is?
Mr. Badr AlBadr is an opportunist like some others in the industry. He is good for himself only!
It's about time Cisco. Badr took Cisco operations in Saudi into a record low. A nose dive. I think he never understood his role as GM. If you ask 10 clients, 9 (if not 10) will state they never had a meeting with Badr. what a GM. Cisco: DO NOT make the mistake again. get a true Saudi leader who can function at all levels (from strategy to execution). Someone who has the carisma and leadership skills to grow your business in a very untraditional manner.
Mathew is 'Acting GM' until a new national GM is found. It is mandatory from the Saudi Labor Ministry that all GMs and HR managers are Saudis.