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Saud Alsulaiman

IKEA Saudi Executive Director

I always had a passion for art and kept a booklet of my drawing when I was a child. This passion developed to become an interest in interior design. Therefore I studied interior design in America and graduated with a bachelor in interior design.

During my studies in America I was required for internship from the university in my last year. Therefore during the last semester of university I applied for a part time job at IKEA in Los Angeles to the interior design department. I wanted something more related to my studies but at that time there was only a job available in logistics. I took on the job in logistics department in unloading. This was my first job, as I must say was challenging physically. The most challenging part of this job was the late starting hours (after store closing) and ended up after midnight. In addition to that I had to commute between two cities as my university was in another city.

I also wanted to get myself exposed to other businesses.

Therefore joggling two jobs at the same time I was nominated to become the Managing Director of my family fashion business. This exposure gave me a new view on retail and was really a good experience. The business suffered during the economic crises in 2009 and therefore it was a challenge having it survive during that time. Difficult decisions were taken to close down part of the brands but it had to happen. But as they say you learn a lot even during failures.

During the above phase I also sat on the board of IKEA. I have managed to build my career within IKEA Saudi Arabia with a limited amount of time. I started from an interior designer moving my way through different departments and positions to Retail Operations Manager and now to Deputy General Manager/Executive Director.

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