Monday, August 19, 2013

A Sad Day for Me Today

Thirty years ago I met a tall, charismatic, young, brilliant Palestinian called Saad Abdul-Latif. He was working at Pepsi-Co in the Middle East when I joined them as Director of Operations. Saad was a graduate of Thunderbird Arizona and was blessed with an optimistic, problem-solving attititude one rarely encounters. He made it from a tough background and we promoted him consistently through various marketing positions in the Gulf and Saudi Arabia. He subsequently became one of Pepsico's top executives and achieved the lofty heights of CEO Pepsi-Co for Asia, Middle East and Africa.

Today I heard that Saad passed away. The world is a darker place. Pepsi-Co Chairman, Indra Nooyi, wrote "Saad was much more than a business leader. He was brave. He was loyal. He was a teacher. He loved his family." All true.

One of my greatest memories is of Saad's wedding when my eldest son, Ben, sat proudly on Saad's knee. Ben has become a big man too and I can't help but think Saad played a positive role in my son's growth. As he did for many.

We'll miss him.


jacqueline emery said...

Really sad news, You will get happy soon. CEO Brand

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Robert,
I would like to thank you on the kind note you had written on Mr. Saad Abdul-Latif. A colleague of yours during the Pepsi Co days in the ME.
When I read the title of the subject you had written on the sudden and sad death of your colleague. I was actually drawn into the subject, but finding out that you had your frienship from the old days while you were in the Gulf, made me write to you to thank you from the bottom of my hear. At the same time, I also like to send through you my deepest sympathy for the sad demise of Mr. Saad. May Allah bless his soul in heaven.

I am also writing to let you know that if the majority of the people at S&S are like you, then kindly allow me to say that S&S is not a love marke agency but a Soul Love agency.

Being from the ME, and as an avid reader of your newsletters, I would like to say that your bonding to old and new frriends is unique, and for that, your success in having this special loving soul is to be thanked again and again.

God bless you and your family members....Hisham J. Al Masri