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Hadi Raad

Hadi Raad

Vice President, Visa Inc.

Former Industry/Office: Communications, Media and Technology, Beirut
Alumnus since 2012

Hadi Raad had been engaged in the launch of internet access and eCommerce startups for five years when he received an offer from Strategy&, formerly Booz & Company, in 2000 and decided to join. On his first day as a consultant with the firm, Hadi received a call to join the team in Riyadh, where he embarked on the transformation journey of the largest telecom sector in the Middle East region. On aggregate, Hadi spent over a decade with the firm, which shaped his career as a professional.

During those years, he worked on diverse engagements, doing strategy, business and financial planning, business development, operating models, startup incubation, new business launch, corporatization, and transformation, mainly in telecom, digital media, and technology practices, with multinational groups, local organizations, and bodies in both private and public sectors. During this period, Hadi also completed both his public service in his home country, and his MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business with high honors distinction. Spending more than a decade of a lifetime in a firm generates lots of fond memories: Winning the global professional excellence award, travelling to new – sometimes not risk-free – locations for new business development, group evacuations on private jets along with families during war times, or team-building fun trips with colleagues and families, just to name a few. The most notable by far remain working days and long nights in a family-like work environment where boundaries between home and office become grey, with a distinguished set of professionals, many of whom are now lifetime friends.

Leaving the firm wasn’t an easy decision. In 2012, a principal of the firm by then, and driven by his passion for the digital industry, Hadi decided to take on a second curve in his career and join Google as head of marketing for Emerging Arabia. With Google, Hadi worked on developing and executing on the strategy for Google’s consumer products in the region, including YouTube, Maps & Navigation, Chrome, Google Mobile apps, made-by-Google hardware, and others. He developed multifaceted partnerships with media bodies, sports clubs, MNOs, and educational institutions to help curate and promote locally produced social, sports, and educational content that built on Google products and services, helping drive consumer adoption, and reinforcing growth rates that were among the fastest globally.

In 2014, Hadi decided to move again, this time to Visa to head their emerging digital payments space in Central Europe, Middle East, and Africa (CEMEA). Hadi is now vice president of Visa for digital payments platforms and solutions, with a mission to help drive cashless economies in this region. To deliver, this entails fostering innovation with fintech companies, banking institutions, and merchants, and leveraging Visa’s products in eCommerce, contactless, digital wallets, and mobile payments. Throughout his tenure so far with Visa, Hadi and his team have played pivotal roles in enabling the digital and contactless payments ecosystem and the launch of payment solutions such as Visa Checkout, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and wearable technology in the region.

 Outside work, Hadi enjoys football, cycling, smart technologies in action, and spending as much time as possible with his family.

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