Top Masdar execs quit as bosses order 'rethink'

Two top executives believed to have quit Masdar.

Masdar CEO has reportedly asked for a review of the project.
Masdar CEO has reportedly asked for a review of the project.

Two of Masdar City’s most senior executives have quit the project, with CEO Sultan Al Jaber now understood to be enforcing a comprehensive ‘rethink’ of the development.

Arabian Business understands that both Ziad Tassabehji and Khaled Awad have left the $22bn development – billed as the world’s first zero-carbon city - in recent weeks.

Tassabehji, the former director of Innovation and Investments, was widely seen as a ‘founding father’ of the project. He was on both the executive and investment committees of the Masdar Clean Tech Fund.

Awad, as director of property development, also played a key role. Just last month, he assured reporters that the project was “on track” to open in 2013. However, the director quit his post soon afterwards.

Asked about the resignations, a spokesperson for Masdar said: “It’s normal for fast growing global companies to see staff turnover as they evolve; people will always come and go and we are very comfortable with change.”

In 2007, Masdar unveiled ambitious plans to invest in renewable energy projects such as the world’s first city to rely entirely on solar energy and other renewable energy sources.

However, Arabian Business understands that Masdar CEO Sultan Al Jaber has now asked for a comprehensive six-week review of the project’s original plans. This began two weeks ago.

Asked whether this meant the project was now effectively suspended for a month, the spokesperson said: “Masdar City continues to move forward. All projects - especially those of a visionary nature - require a constant process of review, evaluation and scaling to ensure the execution of the vision matches the needs of the market and the developments of the business.

“Masdar is by definition a work in progress. Our development activities constantly inform the way we manage and evolve our projects.”



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