JEDDAH: Klaus Kleinfeld, who was tasked with developing the NEOM project in northern Saudi Arabia, has been appointed as an adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Kingdom announced.
Kleinfeld “will take over wider responsibilities to enhance the economic, technological and financial development of Saudi Arabia,” said a statement.
The German, who is former chairman and CEO of Alcoa Inc., and former president and CEO of Siemens AG, is set to begin his role on August 1, 2018, with new NEOM CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr taking the helm of the ambitious Saudi project on the same day.
Al-Nasr, who has over 30 plus years of experience with Saudi Aramco and most recently has been the Interim President for King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), had worked on developing the strategy and development of NEOM Bay, one of the initial stages of NEOM’s development.
The Kingdom, in October 2017, announced plans to build the $500 billion mega city on the Kingdom’s Red Sea coast, as part of a huge national push to diversify its economy.
“The focus on these sectors will stimulate economic growth and diversification by nurturing international innovation and manufacturing, to drive local industry, job creation, and GDP growth in the Kingdom,” said Prince Mohammed, who is also the chairman of the Public Investment Fund (PIF).
“Klaus Kleinfeld had started to lay foundation to the realization of NEOM in June 2017. He built up a team of world class project people and developed – together with the founding board of NEOM — the strategy, the face and the future appearance of NEOM,” the statement said.