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Depa chief executive Nadim Akhras quits Dubai fit-out contractor

The Dubai-based fit-out contractor Depa said that its chief executive, Nadim Akhras, has stepped down from his role for “personal reasons”.

Mr Akhras was made the interim chief executive in October 2013 following the departure of its co-founder, Mohannad Sweid. He remained as the interim chief executive until April this year, when his appointment was made permanent.

Mr Sweid returned to the company as a board director in July this year. Depa said that pending the appointment of a permanent chief executive, he would oversee the group’s Middle East, Africa and US markets, while his fellow board director Roddy Maciver would look after its European and Asian markets.

“Depa is disappointed to lose Mr Nadim as group chief executive,” said Depa’s group chairman Mohamed Al Fahim said. “Over his 17 years in service, he has made countless contributions to the group’s success story, playing an integral role in its expansion.”

Mr Akhras will also be retained as a consultant to the business, and Depa said it hoped to continue to benefit “from his acquired knowledge in the interior contracting industry”.

A spokesman added: “While the board moves forward with the search for a permanent Group CEO, Depa will continue to press ahead with its current strategy of bidding for projects with healthy margins across the various geographies it operates in. The progress made under Nadim Akhras’s leadership has left the company well positioned for sustainable growth over the long-term. The board will dedicate all resources necessary to find the best possible candidate to take Depa forward into its next phase of growth.”

Depa in August reported a 44 per cent drop in net profit for the first six months of this year to Dh15 million. Revenue also fell by 4 per cent to Dh841m. At the time, the company said that its sales had fallen because it had taken a more selective approach in bidding for work.

Depa operates in 20 countries worldwide and has about 7,000 staff. The contractor Arabtec is its biggest shareholder, with a 24 per cent stake in the company.

The Drake & Scull chief executive Khaldoun Tabari also bought a 6 per cent stake in the company in January last year.

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