Saudi Aramco chairman Khalid al-Falih has been named as Saudi Arabia’s new Energy, Industry & Mineral Resources minister as part of a wide-ranging government shake up announced on 7 May by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud.

The government restructure, announced in a royal decree, sees several ministries merged and others abolished, including the Electricity & Water Ministry.

Al-Falih, who had been serving as health minister, replaces Ali al-Naimi, who had served as Saudi Arabia’s oil minister for more than 20 years.

Al-Falih has spent more than 30 years working at the state oil company, becoming CEO in 2009, then chairmain in 2015.

The government overhaul is the latest step in Riyadh’s Vision 2030 reform programme announced on 25 April.

Many of the key government changes have been made is sectors being targetted for reform.

Key government changes announced on 7 May

  • Khalid al-Falih named Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources
  • Ahmed al-Kholifey appointed governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (Sama – Saudi Arabia’s central bank), replacing Fahad al-Mubarak. Al-Kholifey was previously deputy governor for research and international affairs at Sama
  • Tawfiq al-Rabiah replaces Al-Falih as health minister
  • Water & Electricity Ministry abolished;
  • Commerce & Industry Ministry becomes the Commerce & Investment Ministry;
  • Labour and Social Affairs ministries merged;
  • A new General Authority for Entertainment and another one for Culture to be established
  • Majed al-Qasabi appointed trade minster;
  • Sulaiman al-Hamdan named transport minister;
  • Mohammad Saleh Benten appointed Hajj minister;
  • Sulaiman Aba al-Khail appointed president of Imam Mohammad bin Saud Islamic University.