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GBM's new CEO - Who is Martin Tarr?

Gulf Business Machines has appointed Martin Tarr as their new CEO, effective from June 4, 2017, where he will be instrumental in the day-to-day running ...

Callum Rivett
|Jun 21|magazine5 min read

Gulf Business Machines has appointed Martin Tarr as their new CEO, effective from June 4, 2017, where he will be instrumental in the day-to-day running of the company - but who is he?

Mr Tarr has held positions at IBM for the past 19 years, joining in 1998 as Director Mainframes for the UK, Ireland, South Africa and the Netherlands, before eventually making his way to Vice President of Infrastructure Solutions in the United Arab Emirates.

Before his unwavering loyalty to IBM, Mr Tarr earned a Bachelor's Degree in Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures and Linguists, with a First Class Honours from the University of London.

A rapid rise through the ranks at IBM was to follow, on a journey that would take him to Zurich, Madrid and Dubai before his position in the UAE.

Mr Tarr's five-year stint in Switzerland began when he was appointed Vice President of Systems and Technology for IBM Europe, Middle East and Africa in January 2007. 

Dubai beckoned with the position of Vice President of Sales in the Middle East and Africa, focussing on building software and service capabilities in an emerging market.

A return to Europe was secured with a switch to the Enterprise and Mid Market Europe arm as Vice President, working with cloud and analytics growth in key areas. 

In April 2015, Mr Tarr was appointed to his final role with IBM and began work in the UAE, working with Global Technology Services and providing infrastructure solutions around "transforming and operating a clients' IT environment" with services such as Cloud. 

With 30 years experience in the IT sector and 10 years in key leadership roles, Mr Tarr is bringing a wealth of expertise to GBM. Mr Tarr also boasts a "proven track record of leading and transforming businesses" according to Nabil Iskandar, the chairman of GBM.

Mr Tarr is optimistic about his new role, stating: "I am confident that with GBM's capabilities and talented team, we will be able to capitalize on these new opportunities in the digital era. This is an exciting transformation period in the industry and I am really excited to begin work."

GBM is the number one provider of software and IT solutions in the Middle East, working across a range of sectors from e-Government to oil and gas. GBM also has offices in six countries across the Middle East, with an extra three situated in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.