Former Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi joined Aramco as an office boy in 1947, replacing an older brother who died of pneumonia. He was 12 and had previously herded sheep.

After Aramco sent him to Lebanon and the US to be educated, he rose through the ranks to become the first Saudi president of the firm in 1984 and its first Saudi CEO in 1988. Al-Naimi replaced Hisham Nazer as minister of petroleum and mineral resources in 1995 and imposed his authority on Opec. For two decades, his briefest utterances moved world markets.

Despite plummeting oil prices from mid-2014, Al-Naimi presided over a controversial strategy of keeping production levels high. He was ousted from his ministerial position as part of a larger government shake-up in May 2016, and was succeeded by Khalid al-Falih, the former health minister and Aramco CEO.