By Andy Sambidge
Bernhard Fonseka will take on new role on Oct 1; eyes continuing growth in region
Siemens, the global giant in electronics and electrical engineering, has appointed a new CEO for its operations in Qatar.
The company has announced the appointment of Bernhard Fonseka for its rapidly-expanding unit in the Gulf state.
Based in Doha, Fonseka will take on his new role at Siemens WLL, the Qatari unit of Siemens, from October 1, and has been tasked with continuing to expand the company's footprint in the region.
Fonseka has previously held leadership positions at Siemens in France and Russia, and complemented his extensive international experience in recent years in Asia.
Prior to his appointment as Siemens Qatar CEO, he was senior vice president of Siemens Ltd, China, and general manager of the company's drive technologies division.
"I am delighted to be in Qatar at such an exciting and crucial time, and to participate and engage in the massive transformation that the country is presently undergoing," he said in a statement.
"At Siemens, we are fully committed to continue growing our business here and to play a leading role in developing further the local expertise needed to meet Qatar's ambitions in line with its National Vision 2030."
Qatar has embarked on a massive infrastructure upgrade program driven by preparations for the 2022 World Cup, which will see the country invest an estimated $150bn across the economy in the next 10 years, including in energy-efficient and sustainable projects and green technologies and solutions.
Fonseka succeeds Martin a Porta, who was at the helm of Siemens in Qatar since 2010 and during whose tenure the company secured numerous landmark projects.
In July, Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development selected Siemens to supply 19 three-unit Avenio trams for the Middle East's most energy-efficient tram system for Education City in Doha.
In March, Siemens was awarded contracts from Qatar Electricity and Water Company (Kahramaa) to supply equipment for Phase 10 of the Qatar Power Transmission System Expansion project and to install a smart-metering system aimed at enabling the monitoring of energy consumption in Doha.
Siemens has built a substantial part of the Qatari power grid in recent years, having secured EUR2.3bn worth of total orders for the expansion of the domestic electricity network.
As part of the company's commitment to boost its local footprint, Siemens said it plans to double its workforce in Qatar over the next two years.
Commenting on Bernhard Fonseka's appointment, Erich Kaeser, CEO of Siemens Middle East, said: "At a time when the local economy is undergoing fundamental changes, Qatar will require a more diverse range of innovative products and smart solutions.
"That's why we plan to expand our footprint in the country and Bernhard Fonseka's impeccable track record and many years of experience at Siemens will ensure that the company's long success story in Qatar will continue."