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Billionaire Alwaleed’s CFO Said to Quit Kingdom Holding

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal
Saudi Billionaire and Founder of Kingdom Holding Co. Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Shadi Sadeek Sanbar, chief financial officer at Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Co., is planning to leave the company this month, according to four people with knowledge of the matter.

Sanbar is stepping down after more than eight years with Riyadh-based Kingdom to move with his family to the U.S., the people said, asking not to be identified as the departure hasn’t been announced. He’ll remain on the board, they said.

Alwaleed, who owns 95 percent of Kingdom, has built a fortune of $30 billion amassing stakes in Citigroup Inc., News Corp. and Apple Inc., according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Twitter Inc., the microblogging service, received a $300 million investment from Kingdom in 2011. The shares jumped 73 percent in the company’s trading debut on Nov. 7.

Sanbar’s departure comes five months after the company’s director for private equity, Ahmed Halawani, resigned after 17 years with Kingdom, citing personal reasons, according to a company statement in June.

Sanbar was appointed as CFO in April 2007 and was special advisor to the company since 2005. He worked for Arthur Andersen prior to joining Alwaleed’s Kingdom, starting in 1973 at the company’s Los Angeles office. He moved to the Riyadh office and was appointed managing partner for the assurance and business advisory practice of Arthur Andersen, according to Kingdom’s website. A telephone call to Kingdom Holding outside regular office hours wasn’t immediately returned.

Jeddah Skyscraper

Kingdom Holding is planning to build a kilometer-high (0.62 mile-high) skyscraper in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah, seeking to surpass the Burj Khalifa in Dubai as the world’s tallest tower. The company received shareholders’ approval in March 2012 to sell as much as 3.75 billion riyals ($1 billion) of bonds inside Saudi Arabia or abroad.

Alwaleed, who took a 95 percent stake in the Four Seasons hotel chain with Bill Gates and also owns a stake in Fairmont Hotels and Resorts Inc., is weighing options for the businesses including an initial public offering or merger, he said in a Nov. 20 interview with Bloomberg TV’s Erik Schatzker in Chicago.

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