YLAB Global Leaders Dialogue with Mr. Abdulaziz Al-Gudaimi

The Young Leaders Advisory Board (YLAB) regularly arranges Global Leaders Dialogue events, which are a valuable opportunity for Saudi Aramco’s youth to engage with prominent leaders from the energy industry and beyond in order to learn from their rich experiences. In the latest edition of this event, YLAB hosted Mr. Abdulaziz Al-Gudaimi, who is a veteran of Saudi Aramco. Mr. Al-Gudaimi’s illustrious career spanned 35 years in a variety of roles all the way up to the company’s corporate management, including but not limited to leading New Business Development, Chemicals, and Corporate Planning (now Strategy & Market Analysis), as well as serving as a Board member of multiple companies. 

This session, much like Mr. Al-Gudaimi’s career, was characterized by a drive to support and empower the next generation of leaders to build upon the positive impact he created over the course of his career. Mr. Al-Gudaimi offered frank and valuable feedback about both his professional experiences and his post-retirement life. He also continues to give back to today’s leaders in-the-making by teaching at King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) on the subjects of Transactions, Mergers, and Acquisitions (M&A). 

In retrospect, Mr. Al-Gudaimi shared that in his view, two of the most important life decisions to make are one’s choice of education and their choice of partner, seeing as both shape the trajectory of one’s adult life. 

He also noted on the shifts in the company’s strategy and business environment throughout his career, including the Initial Public Offering (IPO). This had a variety of repercussions on the company’s strategic direction, which in his case included restructuring company assets to better adapt to the new economic environment. Other notable paradigm shifts also included the prominence of the energy transition, which included a variety of new technology and product domains such as hydrogen and renewables, both of which are key pillars of the company’s lofty net-zero ambitions, which is targeted by 2050 – i.e. 10 years earlier than the Kingdom’s own net-zero target. 

The session also included advice for the youth on the importance of balancing both their work and family lives, as well as how to manage their personal finances by allocating a reasonable proportion of one’s income between spending, savings, and investments. In closing, he counseled young professionals to take measured risks, invest in their personal relationships and professional networks, and to develop their leadership skills. 

The session was characterized by lively discussions and a high degree of interactivity between the audience and Mr. Al-Gudaimi, all in line with YLAB’s vision of preparing the company for the youth, and preparing the youth for the company.