ARI Middle East CEO Richard Gray to retire
After three years as Chief Executive Officer of ARI Middle East (ARIME), Richard Gray has announced his retirement, effective May 2022.
Paying tribute to Gray, ARI Chief Executive Officer Ray Hernan commented: “We would like to thank Richard for his outstanding leadership with our business in the Middle East since August 2019. In his time with us Richard made a big difference to ARI, his energy and enthusiasm has been infectious, and his years of knowledge and experience have been invaluable. We wish Richard and his family good health and happiness in his retirement.”
Echoing Hernan’s words, ARI Partner in the Middle East and Chairman of ARIME, Mr Abdulla Buhindi, added: “Richard’s business acumen, negotiating skills and shareholder management capability, as well as the standards of retail excellence he has brought to the team will be sorely missed. I thank Richard on behalf of the ARIME Board for his tremendous service to the company and wish him and his family well in his retirement.”
During his career at ARI, Gray led ARIME through the Covid-19 pandemic, taking swift and decisive action to reduce costs and manage cash burn to ensure the business retains a strong balance sheet and liquidity position. He ensured that ARIME’s management and businesses focused on aligning the retail offer with consumer expectations in the post-Covid-19 era, while presiding over the opening of world-class new and refurbished retail spaces in Bahrain and Cyprus and the extension of key concession licenses in Oman and Qatar.
Commenting on his planned departure, Gray said: “Working with the team at ARI Middle East has been a great experience and personally I feel it is the pinnacle of my career. Delivering an outstanding shopping experience for our customer has always been at the forefront of my leadership and I am delighted to see that even during the most challenging time for global travel retail, we have achieved this.
“The wonderful team at ARI are like a family which I am very proud to be part of. I would like to thank Ray Hernan for his mentoring, guidance and friendship. I would also like to thank the Chairman of the ARIME Board, Mr. Abdulla Buhindi, for his unwavering support and wise counsel, and thank you to the ARIME Board.”
A process has begun to appoint a new CEO of ARIME, who will be named in due course.