‘Construction tsars’ lead big shake-up at Nakheel

Construction boss Mounir Haider is the first departure from the company’s top brass.

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By  Sean Cronin Published  July 23, 2005

Nakheel construction boss Mounir Haider has left the company as part of a major management shake-up. And the developer has recruited a crack team of construction managers to take control of its key projects, including the Palm and World islands. Construction Week can reveal that Haider, who headed up Nakheel’s technical and engineering department, is the first senior manager at the company to leave. The company also revealed that a team of international managers has been appointed to run the Palm Jumeirah. It will be headed by project director Bruce Schlaitzer. The shake-up comes just days after the developer admitted that the construction of the apartments on the Palm Jumeirah is running a year late. Under the plan, each Nakheel project will act as an autonomous strategic business unit complete with its own management, budget and team. Every Nakheel project will have its own general manager who will report directly to the chief executive. The first appointment made under the new structure is Hamza Mustafa, who will take over as general manager of the ‘World’ project. Mustafa will manage the design of the islands, as well as the responsibility for boosting investor interest in the project, where just 23 of the 300 islands under construction have been sold in the last year. A spokesman denied that the new structure was a response to the delays on Palm Jumeirah or the slow pace of sales on the ‘World’ development of its offshore islands. He said: “The company has grown massively over the last three years, and with 14 projects it just made sense to have them as vertical business units reporting to the chief executive.” Executive chairman Sultan bin Sulayem, said: “This restructuring will allow for greater focus on the individual needs of each project. Each of our projects is unique, and therefore demands a very different approach. The creation of leaner and flatter structures will maximise our customer focus, create greater coherence and enable each project to reach its full potential.” He added: “With each project acting as its own business unit, we will be in the best position to react quickly to market changes and customer requirements.”

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