Mobile Corp., which for years has sought to solidify its ties with Saudi Arabia, announced yesterday that it has named a prominent Saudi businessman, Suliman S. Olayan, to its board of directors effective Dec. 1. b
Olayman is chairman of the Olayman Group, a diversified trading, service and investment organization he founded in 1945. Operating both within Saudi Arabia and internationally, its business include general contracting, food wholesaling, insurance, agriculture, and heavey-equipment sales and distribution.
Olayan Group is among the largest privately owned enterprises in Saudi Arabia.
Economist Alan Greenspan of Townsend-Greenspan & Co., a Mobil director who headed the board's nominating committee, said of Olayan, "We are very fortunate to have got him to agree [to join the board]. He will be an obvious asset to the board and his knowledge in a number of areas cannot but be useful."
Olayan, who will be 62 next week, first worked in the oil fields of Bahrain and, returning to Saudi Arabia in 1937, joined what was to become the Arabian-American Oil Co., Aramco. In 1947 he became a general contractor with much business with the oil industry. Until the Saudi government recently purchased 100 percent of Aramco, Mobil was one of the four American oil companies in the partnership.
Mobil still has extensive investments in the country, however, including part ownership of a refinery, and it is building a major east-to-west pipeline for Petromin, the national oil company. Mobil also, of course, is a major buyer of Saudi crude oil.
"A lot of people have been trying to get him on their boards," one pleased Mobil official said.