(Adds executive search, detail)
By Hadeel Al Sayegh
Jan 18 (Reuters) - The chief financial officer of Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding is leaving the firm, sources familiar with the matter said, in the first prominent departure since the detention of the investment firm’s founder.
Mohamed Fahmy, who has worked with the company for about five years and is believed to be a close aide of the Saudi billionaire, will leave the firm at the end of February, the sources told Reuters, requesting anonymity because of the commercial sensitivity of the matter.
The sources said the reason for Fahmy’s departure was not clear but it was not related to the detention of Prince Alwaleed, who has been held since November among dozens of officials and businessmen in a government crackdown on corruption.
Kingdom Holding did not respond to a request for comment.
Kingdom Holding is searching for an executive to succeed Fahmy, the sources said, and is likely to announce his departure when a new chief financial officer is appointed.
Fahmy joined Kingdom Holding in 2013 as deputy chief financial officer, and then was appointed as chief financial officer in 2014.
Alwaleed, a nephew of Saudi King Salman, is a closely-watched figure in international markets because of investments through Kingdom Holding in companies such as Citigroup Inc and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
Kingdom’s most recent acquisition was a 16.2 percent stake purchased from Credit Agricole SA in Banque Saudi Fransi for 5.76 billion Saudi riyals ($1.54 billion). (Additional reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Andrew Torchia and Gareth Jones)