Stephen Sackur Presenter – HARDTalk
Presenter – HARDTalk
Stephen Sackur is presenter of HARDtalk, the current affairs interview on BBC World and the News Channel. His subjects have included the heads of NATO and OPEC, Shimon Peres, Gore Vidal and Richard Dawkins.
For HARDtalk he has also interviewed a number of the world’s great innovators, from James Dyson to Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia and the bioscientist Craig Ventor. Distilling his notes for a series of articles, Stephen identiﬁed the ﬁve qualities they all seemed to share: an indestructible will, passion (almost beyond reason), outrageous optimism, a super-sized ego and a ‘rebel yell.’
These interviews have also given him an insight into how organisations can best bring about innovation: “You need to ﬁnd ways to assess individuals on their merits, and give rewards for innovative thinking rather than play-it-safe mediocrity. You should encourage insiders to get outside and bring back fresh insights. And you shouldn’t confuse seniority with creativity.”
Away from set-piece interviews Stephen has served in Brussels, reporting on day-to-day stories from the major European institutions and across the continent. Before that he was Washington Correspondent, where his coverage and analysis of 9/11 won widespread acclaim.
Ten years earlier it was Stephen who broke the story of the mass killing on the Basra road out of Kuwait, marking the end of the Gulf War. He was then posted to Cairo and Jerusalem as Middle East Correspondent, where he reported on the emergence of the Palestinian Authority.
Marc Dardenne Chief Operating Officer – Public Investment Fund – Amaala
Chief Operating Officer – Public Investment Fund – Amaala
Following graduation from the world-renowned Ecole Hoteliere De Lausanne in Switzerland, Marcembarked on a progressively rich career as hotelier in all reaches of the globe and is currently Chief Operating Officer of PIF’s Amaala Project based in Riyadh (KSA).
Marc is a passionate and relatable hotelier with well-rounded operational expertise having worked extensively with Grand Hyatt and Ritz-Carlton in Europe, Middle East and Asia and he is well recognized for a track record for creating operational excellence and financial returns. Emaar, the Middle East’s largest real estate company, approached Marc in 2008 to develop and launch a hospitality division.
During his tenure, he created a luxury five-star lifestyle brand named The Address Hotels and Resorts and he worked closely with Giorgio Armani on developing and opening two Armani Hotels in Dubai and Milan. He also led the expansion of the company’s leisure division which included spas, golf courses, a polo club and a yacht club. In 2011, Marc was recruited by Pontiac Land in Singapore which is owned by the Kwee family who is known for being amongst the largest owners of prime real estate in Singapore. Marc again led the creation of their own ultra-luxury hotel brand, Patina Hotels and Resorts and it included the pursuit of projects in Singapore, Shanghai, Maldives and Sydney. Marc was most recently Interim Chief Executive Officer and Group Chief Operating Officer of Dubai based Jumeirah Hotels and
Resorts, which owns four large hotels in Dubai including the world famous seven-star Burj Arab and
operates 20 hotels and resorts in Europe, Middle East and Asia.
Marc is Belgian, was born in France but raised in Switzerland and he fluently speaks four languages. He is happily married for the last thirty years to an American wife named Rima and they are blessed to have two kids residing in Los Angeles and San Francisco. A passionate sports and health enthusiasts, Marc enjoys world travel and experiencing diverse cultures. Throughout his professional career Marc has dedicated time to several charity organizations including Doctors without Borders and The Red Ribbon.