Aramex, the Middle East’s largest logistics company, said its CEO and founder Fadi Ghandour will retire by the end of the year, to be succeeded by regional head Hussein Hachem. Ghandour, who becomes vice chairman, will focus on “strategic expansions, new investments, and sustainability,” the company said in an e-mailed statement today. Aramex, which competes in the Middle East with Deutsche Post’s DHL unit and United Parcel Service Inc., was founded in 1982 in Jordan and New York by Ghandour and William Kingson. It employs more than 12,300 people operating in 353 locations in 60 countries. “There is no better time than this 30th anniversary of Aramex, capping an astounding journey of challenges and achievements, to propose that you and I are ready for yet another leap,” Ghandour said in the statement. Aramex has been expanding into Asia, Africa and Europe through acquisitions and partnerships. The company said March 14 it signed a partnership agreement with South Korea’s CJ GLS Corp. That followed a joint venture with SinoAir in China, and the acquisitions of OneWorld Courier and In-Time Couriers in Kenya, and Berco Express in South Africa. Hachem joined the company 20 years ago when he rebuilt its operations in Kuwait after the 1991 Gulf War. He is currently CEO for the Middle East and Africa, the largest revenue- contributing region for the company, according to the statement. The courier company, which sold shares in an initial public offering in 2005, posted a 4 percent increase in profit last year as the popular uprising in the Middle East and the global credit crisis weighed on earnings. Aramex shares have gained 2.2 percent this year after dropping 13 percent in 2011. They closed 1.1 percent higher in Dubai trading on April 12, giving the company a market value of AED2.69bn (US$732.4m).