Six individuals leading the development of the region’s automotive industry: Stefan Mecha, John Stadwick, Omar Abdulla al-Futtaim, Joerg Breuer, Khalaf al-Habtoor and Mike Belk
Position Managing director, Volkswagen Middle East
Biography Stefan Mecha is managing director of German carmaker Volkswagen’s Middle East operations. Mecha started his career with Germany’s DaimlerChrylser, working in several roles, including head of strategic marketing and training, head of financial services, and general manger of the fleet management division in Europe. He left DaimlerChrylser in 2002 and joined car rental company Sixt, where he worked until joining Volkswagen in 2005. After a brief spell as regional director, Mecha was appointed to his current position in 2009. Mecha has a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in business management. Mecha’s mandate is to change the image of Volkswagen in the region from being a rival to luxury brands, such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz, by introducing a number of mid-range models over the next two years.
Contact Tel: (+971) 4 204 5888
Position President and managing director, GM Middle East Operations
Biography John Stadwick was appointed president and managing director of GM Middle East Operations in March 2010 after working as vice-president – aftersales for GM International Operations in Shanghai since 2009. Stadwick joined the US’ General Motors (GM) as district manager in training after graduating in 1984. He has worked in number of roles for the carmaker in various locations, including regional director of aftersales for Latin America, Africa and the Middle East from July 2006 to May 2008. Stadwick has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics from Saginaw Valley State College in the US. GM has been active in the Middle East market since the 1920s. It vies with Japan’s Nissan for the position of second-largest automotive retailer in terms of volumes, behind another Japanese carmaker Toyota.
Contact Tel: (+971) 4 314 3350
Omar Abdulla al-Futtaim
Position Chief executive officer (CEO), Al-Futtaim Private Company
Biography Omar Abdulla al-Futtaim is CEO of Al-Futtaim Private Company, formerly Al-Futtaim Group. The Dubai-headquartered business conglomerate holds the franchise for Japanese carmaker Toyota Motor Corporation’s Toyota and Lexus car brands in the UAE. It is estimated that the Japanese carmaker sells about 250,000 cars a year in the Middle East. Al-Futtain’s father, Abdulla al-Futtaim is chairman of the family-owned company. Al-Futtaim graduated in 1985 from Macalester College in the US with a bachelor’s degree in economics and business. Al-Futtaim serves as a director of local lender Commercial Bank of Dubai and is a board member of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is also vice-chairman of Arab Orient Insurance Company and was previously a director of National Bank of Dubai. In 2009, Al-Futtaim was replaced in his board role at Emirates NBD.
Contact Tel: (+971) 4 228 2101
Position Managing director Middle East, BMW
Biography Joerg Breuer was appointed managing director for German carmaker BMW in the Middle East in May 2011. He replaced Phil Horton, who moved to the role of managing director BMW Group Australia. Breuer joined BMW’s international graduate trainee programme in 1992. He has worked in several departments in the company and a variety of markets. Key positions have included working in the corporate strategy department at the company’s headquarters in Munich, as managing director in the Philippines and various sales roles in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Prior to his current role, Breuer worked as head of sales for BMW’s Region West. In this role, Breuer was responsible for developing the dealer network. Breuer has a doctorate in marketing from the Friedrich-Alexander-University and a business degree from Cologne University, both in Germany.
Contact Tel: (+971) 4 313 2600
Position Chairman, Al-Habtoor Group
Biography Khalaf al-Habtoor is a well-known UAE figure, who started his business empire in the 1970s. Since then he has built his company into one of the largest trading groups in the UAE, with construction, retailing and hospitality making up the core of the business. The firm owns the franchise for several automotive brands in the UAE, including Japan’s Mitsubishi and luxury carmakers such as the UK’s Aston Martin and Bentley, and Italy’s Bugatti. Al-Habtoor is also chairman of Dubai National Insurance & Reinsurance Company, and a member of the Dubai Economic Council. He is a former member of the Federal National Council. Previous roles include chairman of the Commercial Bank of Dubai and the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He was also the only non-US member of the World Board of Governors of the American United Services Organisation.
Contact Tel: (+971) 4 394 1444
Position President and CEO for Middle East & Levant, Mercedes-Benz
Biography As president and CEO for the Middle East & Levant for German carmaker Mercedes-Benz, Mike Belk is responsible for sales and service operations in 13 countries.Belk joined parent company Daimler Group when it was still a German/US joint venture called DaimlerChrysler. He worked predominantly in the UK and positions included human resources director, and sales and parts director for DaimlerChrysler UK. When the companies demerged, Belk remained with the Daimler Group and was responsible for network development and service operations in the UK before being promoted to head the global training strategy division in Stuttgart. Originally from the UK, Belk served in the British Army. He has a bachelor of science degree in engineering and also attended the advanced development programme at the London Business School in the UK.
Contact Tel: (+971) 4 209 9777