Royal Decrees Shake Up Saudi Aramco, Energy and Industry Sectors

A series of Royal Decrees issued by King Salman of Saudi Arabia on Friday included major shake ups to Saudi Aramco as well as government ministries and top leadership.

King Salman issued a royal decree to set up a new Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, separating it from the Ministry of Energy. The Kingdom named Bandar Alkhorayef to lead the new ministry. The new ministry will assume its duties at the beginning of the 2020 fiscal year, the semi-official Asharq Alawsat news organization said.

In addition, as Saudi Aramco gears up for a much-anticipated IPO, Saudi Arabia has replaced the company’s chairman, Khalid Al-Falih, with the head of the Public Investment Fund, Yassir Al-Rumayyan.

Khalid Al-Falih will continue to serve as Minister of Energy.

King Salman also appointed a new chief of the powerful Saudi Royal court. Fahd bin Mohammed Al-Essa will assume the role as chief of the royal court at the rank of minister.

He also relieved Dr. Khaled bin Abdulmohsen Al-Muhaisen from his post as head of the National Anti-corruption Commission, replacing him with Mazen bin Ibrahim bin Mohammed al-Kahmous.

The King also ordered that the Riyadh Development Authority be transformed into a royal authority. Its board of directors would be chaired by the deputy prime minister. Additionally, Bandar bin Mohammed Al-Aiban was appointed as an adviser to the Royal Court, while Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad was appointed head of the Saudi Human Rights Commission.

King Salman also established the National Center for Artificial Intelligence and an organization called the National Data Management Office, which will be linked to the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority.