The CEO of Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre (DMCC), Malcolm Morris, has been replaced by the company’s chief operating officer (COO), Gautam Sashittal. The DMCC said Morris has resigned ‘to follow a new career path’.

Sashittal, who has more than 25 years of experience in the energy, resources and financial markets, has been the DMCC’s COO since December 2009. Much of his career was spent at the UK/Dutch Shell, and prior to joining the DMCC, he was the chief financial officer (CFO) of the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX), of which he remains a board director.

“Gautam is the best choice to take over as the DMCC’s CEO,” says Ahmed bin Sulayem, executive chairman of the DMCC. “We have worked together for many years and I have the utmost respect for his deep knowledge of the commodity and financial markets. Gautam will continue to lead the DMCC’s contribution to Dubai’s economic success by driving business growth and expansion, positioning Dubai as the world’s leading commodities ecosystem.”

Before joining the DMCC in November 2009, Morris spent two years as CEO of the DGCX. Previously, he was involved in the physical coffee trade, based in Paris and London.

“At the bottom of the economic crisis, when no executive wanted to take on the DMCC, Malcolm rose to the challenge,” said Bin Sulayem. “In a new role, unfamiliar with the free zone market, he did better than anyone I could have ever imagined.  Under his guidance the DMCC has seen phenomenal growth, with every year of Malcolm’s tenure being a record year in terms of new members joining the free zone.”

The DMCC is planning to build the world’s tallest commercial tower in the Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) development of Dubai.  The DMCC named the tower Burj 2020 in December 2013, following Dubai’s Expo 2020 win. It expects construction work on the tower project to start in 2015.

The replacement of Morris is the latest in a series of chief executive changes at Dubai-owned companies. 

Last week, the local Emaar Properties appointed Abdulla Lahej as the company’s new group CEO, replacing Low Ping.

Ping will remain with the company in her new role as adviser to Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, focusing on Asian real estate development schemes.  

Also last week,the local Limitless named Mohammed Rashed bin Dhabeah as its new CEO, replacing Saeed Ahmed Saeed.

Bin Dhabeah will lead the company’s masterplanned communities in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Vietnam, while retaining his role at sister company Nakheel as managing director of development, Limitless said in a statement.