Alexis Lecanuet and Saad Toma feature on top executives list

09 February 2023 3 min. read

A number of current and former consulting sector leaders have been named by Forbes as among the Middle East region’s top executives, including Alexis Lecanuet of Accenture and Saad Toma of IBM.

Accenture’s regional managing director Alexis Lecanuet and IBM Middle East and Africa boss Saad Toma have been named among the top 50 leading regional executives of large global companies by business magazine Forbes.

A common feature among this year’s entries, both Lecanuet and Toma have been with their respective companies for practically their entire careers, each notching up more than two and half decades of service.

Alexis Lecanuet and Saad Toma

Now into its tenth edition, Forbes’ annual ‘Global Meets Local’ list for the Middle East identifies the highest-ranking locally-based regional executives of the world’s biggest companies which have significant operations in MENA, and then analyses their impacts and achievements taking into account company performance, size, reach and revenue together with others factors such as corporate social responsibility activities.

Lecanuet and Toma return to the list from 2021.

Alexis Lecanuet has been with Accenture for more than 26 years since first joining in Paris in 1996. After leading the firm’s retail business in Europe, Lecanuet crossed to Accenture’s Dubai office in 2015 – citing a desire to support the firm’s global business and enhance its exposure in a 2019 interview with ConsultancyME following his elevation to regional managing director. He has since added the chairman role for Accenture in Saudi Arabia.

Saad Toma has held a number of leadership positions around the globe since first joining IBM as an engineer in 1998, including as COO of IBM Global Technology Services and general manager of the business line in various large geographies. In 2021, he was given responsibility for IBM’s overall business operations – including advisory division IBM Consulting – in more than five dozen countries across the Middle East and Africa, and is now based out of Dubai.

Former consultants

In addition to Lecanuet and Toma, several senior executives named to this year’s list have come from a consulting background. Saeeda Jaffar, Visa’s group country manager for the GCC since 2021, previously oversaw Alvarez & Marsal’s business in the Middle East (with earlier stints at Bain and McKinsey), while Mastercard regional president Dimitrios Dosis joined the company from Roland Berger in 2005 and had previously spent time at Kearney.

Altogether representing 27 different nationalities, Jaffar was one of four entries hailing from Lebanon, including the number one ranked Lebanese-American Nabil Habayeb, who is General Electric’s UAE-based CEO of international markets. Dosis was likewise one of four Germans, while France and Britain – respectively the origin of Lecanuet and Toma – each led the way with five entries. Leadership of tech sector entities accounted for thirteen of the slots.