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Monday, December 6, 2021

Reuters: Qatar to name Dr. Hessa Al Jaber to Volkswagen board


Dr. Hessa Al Jaber
Dr. Hessa Al Jaber

Updated at 3pm to note that Al Jaber will be replacing Akbar Al Baker.

Less than four months after being shuffled out of cabinet, former government minister Dr. Hessa Al Jaber is reportedly poised to take a new job.

Reuters, citing an unnamed source, says that Qatar’s former minister of information and communications technology will be nominated to represent the Gulf state on the board of German automaker Volkswagen.

The appointment would come as the beleaguered company faces pressure to restructure following an emissions scandal.

The country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, is one of Volkswagen’s largest shareholders and is estimated to own 13 percent of Volkswagen’s preferred shares and 17 percent in its ordinary stock, according to Bloomberg.

Al Jaber will replace Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker as one of two QIA representatives on Volkswagen’s board, Reuters reported.


Al-Jaber became the third female government minister in Qatar’s history when she was named Minister of Communication and Information Technology by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in his first cabinet appointments after becoming Emir in 2013.


During her time in office, Al Jaber led and announced several major initiatives, including plans to increase broadband coverage across Qatar as well as boost the country’s e-commerce sector.

Al Jaber led ictQatar for more than a decade and was repeatedly named one of the Arab world’s most powerful women.

She holds a PhD in computer science from The George Washington University, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Al Jaber left cabinet in late January when her ministry was merged with the Ministry of Transport as part of a wider government consolidation push.

Volkswagen reforms

Al Jaber’s appointment deals as Volkswagen tries to recover from one of the worst scandals in the company’s history.

For illustrative purposes only.
For illustrative purposes only.

Last year, the German firm admitted that millions of its vehicles were equipped with software that cheated emission tests.

The news drove down the company’s share prices, which caused Qatar to lose billions of dollars on paper.

Earlier this year, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported that Qatar would strongly back a reform package at Volkswagen that would lead to job losses and plant closures.


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