Drake & Scull’s offices in Dubai Production City. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: The engineering services firm Drake & Scull International has got itself a new chairman, with the confirmation of Shafiq Abdul Hamid by the board of directors. This follows the resignation of long-serving Obaid Bin Touq from that position early last month.

The new appointment was approved by the board and issued as a statement on Dubai Financial Market.

Shareholders in the company, which in recent times has seen the entry and exit of three CEOs, will be hoping that Abdul Hamid will be able to effect some sort of turnaround, or at least help come up with a strategy. Drake & Scull’s festering problems came out in the open after the publication of its 2018 financial results, which revealed the extent of accumulated losses as Dh5 billion.

Last month, the company announced that it brought in new faces to its board of directors, which included raising the number of positions to nine from seven. (The company’s shares continue to remain suspended from trading on DFM since November last.) “DSI will need to come up with a revival plan, which meets with the approval of its lenders, at the earliest,” said a shareholder. “More delays could affect the operational side of the business, notably in its ability to participate in new tenders and win them. Only such a plan can lessen the doubts over the company’s viability.”

Abdul Hamid’s short-term tasks are onerous indeed. He will need to decide whether the day-to-day operations will continue to be managed by an interim committee in the absence of a CEO. The last incumbent had left in the second-half of April.

In addition, Abdul Hamid takes on the mantle when investigations — launched by ESCA (Emirates Securities & Commodities Authority — are ongoing against DSI over how it managed to run up combined losses of a jaw dropping Dh5 billion, and why it went unreported until now.