Klaus Kleinfeld, a former chief executive of Siemens and Alcoa, has been appointed an adviser to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman effective August 1, according to a report on the Maaal financial news website on Tuesday.
Kleinfeld will leave his current position as chief executive of NEOM, a planned mega-city and business zone in the kingdom, but will retain a position on its board, the report said.
Kleinfeld “will take over wider responsibilities to enhance the economic, technological and financial development of Saudi Arabia,” the report said.
Nadhmi al-Nasr, who was tasked with developing the strategy for the mega-city and has more than 30 years of experience at oil giant Aramco, will take over as chief executive of NEOM, the report said.
Prince Mohammed previously announced plans for the 26,500 square km zone, known as NEOM, at an international investment conference in Riyadh. Officials said public and private investment in the area was eventually expected to total $500bn.
The mega-city, with its own judicial system and legislation designed to attract international investors, is to focus on industries such as energy and water, biotechnology, food, advanced manufacturing and tourism, according to officials.
It is part of bold moves by the 32-year-old heir apparent to wean the world’s top crude exporter off oil revenues that include plans to float a portion of state oil giant Saudi Aramco.