Author Archives: Executive Editors

Questionable ethics

Questionable ethics

When Executive asked Joe Saddi, senior partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ premium consulting arm Strategy&, and before that global chairman of predecessor firm Booz & Company, if there was a shared greatest challenge for Arab companies, he answered without a hint of hesitation: “There is. It is capacity building.” Our subsequent research into the defining challenges of

Take the lead

It’s too soon to say whether Lebanon’s potential oil and gas resources are truly a game changer or not. But if the resources might significantly alter the trajectory of the country — its economy, its businesses, its people and their way of life — then Lebanese civil society must vigorously impress values of transparency and

Politics and public health

Health Minister Wael Abou Faour caused quite a stir by telling the Lebanese they are eating “shit” — his word, not ours. What he failed to do, however, is give any details about the methodology and precise results of tests on food his ministry recently conducted. In short, Abou Faour spread fear, not information. He

Just go

When the Investment Development Authority of Lebanon was first created in 1994, hope for the economy to flourish was not such a wild concept. Lebanon was being rebuilt after the war. Times were changing. There was enthusiasm for a reconstructed Lebanon with shining new infrastructure. IDAL was to be one of the institutions spearheading the

End the boys’ club

The message of success (see “In praise of chaos“) bears repeating: as Executive surveyed the offices, workshops and hangouts of ambitious young companies over the past two months, we found the Lebanese entrepreneurship ecosystem in 2014 to be performing far beyond the assumptions of defeatists, and even our own optimistic expectations. But while this ecosystem

In praise of chaos

What happens when you combine a few crazy startups, visionary ideas and some equally crazy support institutions? In a word, magic. In a country where deep sectarian divisions, a moribund economy, poor security, weak institutions and staggering debt have produced a chorus of naysayers, several plucky startups are showing us how to build a successful

The root of good

The international community’s response to the Syrian crisis is growing even more shameful with the passage of time. Since Syria’s war began in 2011, governments in the developed world have very obviously put political and military considerations before humanitarian concerns. Not surprisingly, the consequences have been disastrous for millions of Syrians — both refugees and

Raise your glass

Arak is in a bad state. Although it was the drink of choice for many Lebanese up until the Civil War, tough competition from whiskey and other spirits has driven it from all but a few traditional settings. And don’t even mention trying to penetrate the youth market. Indeed, as the eyes of both the

Open the floor

Lebanon’s politicians are squandering a golden opportunity. Now that the close of the first offshore oil and gas licensing round has been indefinitely postponed, the country once again has a chance for a real national debate about the future of this nascent sector and how to integrate it into the economy. Potential hydrocarbon resources would

Non-evasive action

Lebanon’s authorities have some explaining to do. For reasons no one has ever explained, companies with no qualifications have been allowed to participate in Lebanon’s first offshore licensing round, provided they find a qualified partner. We don’t know who made the decision. Cabinet approved the decree allowing for it in February 2013. According to the