Samih Sawiris steps down as chairman of Orascom Development Holding

His son Naguib Samih Sawiris will assume the role of chairman

Egyptian billionaire businessman and co-founder of the Elgouna Film Festival Samih Sawiris poses on the red carpet during the closing session of the 5th edition of the Gouna Film Festival in Egypt's Red Sea resort of el-Gouna on October 22, 2021.  (Photo by Khaled DESOUKI  /  AFP)

Egyptian billionaire and construction tycoon Samih Sawiris will step down as chairman of Orascom Development Holding and transfer his duties to his son, the company said on Wednesday.

After more than 30 years at the helm of Orascom Development Holding, Mr Sawiris said he will not be nominating himself for the chairmanship of Orascom’s board of directors at the annual meeting of the company in May 2022.

He will, however, remain available to the board in an advisory capacity under his son’s chairmanship.

Mr Sawiris’s son Naguib Samih Sawiris was unanimously nominated by the board of directors for the company’s chairmanship.

Following his ascension, Mr Naguib will replace his father as the company’s largest shareholder.

"Naguib's experience building and investing in successful technology businesses in the US, and his active role in supporting ODH through the Covid-19 crisis, has made me confident that he is both capable and committed to successfully leading ODH into the future, together with chief executive Omar El Hamamsy and the support of the Board. I wish them all the best," Mr Sawiris said.

As the company’s new chairman, “focus will be on ensuring the company returns to its former prosperity and becomes a benchmark for developing distinguished destinations", Mr Naguib said.

"I look forward to assuming the position of p;resident with a deep sense of responsibility and gratitude," he said.

ODH has been contracted by the Egyptian government to complete a number of high-profile real estate and tourism projects.

The company 's portfolio of projects span Egypt, the UAE, Oman, Morocco, Montenegro, Switzerland and the UK. The group operates a total of 33 hotels with 7,198 rooms and controls about 101.1 million square metres of land.

ODH swung to profit in the third quarter of this year, earning a net profit of 3.7 million Swiss francs ($4m), while total revenue jumped 51.3 per cent to reach 145.9m Swiss francs.

Updated: December 15th 2021, 2:25 PM