World Economic Forum founder to retire from leadership

Klaus Schwab, the founder and for decades, the face of the World Economic Forum, will step away from executive leadership in the coming months, the organization said on Wednesday.

The World Economic Forum (WEF), which hosts the annual meeting of wealthy, famous, and influential global elites at the luxury Swiss ski resort of Davos, said late Tuesday that its 86-year-old founder would soon “transition from executive chairman to chairman of the board of trustees”.

The shift is expected to take place before the next edition of the annual meeting, in January 2025.

Announcement of Scwab’s decision to step back after more than half a century at the top marks the culmination of WEF’s long transformation since 2015, from a “founder-managed organization to one where a president and managing board assume full executive responsibility”.

Though Scwab’s retirement from WEF Chairman position has been announced, the organization did not spell out who would officially take the helm. The number-two executive behind Schwab is currently president Borge Brende, a 58-year-old former Norwegian foreign minister.

The Geneva-based forum, which employs some 800 people worldwide and raked in USD447 million in annual revenue in the last fiscal year, said it had been transitioning from being merely a “convening platform” to “the leading global institution for public-private cooperation”.

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