Samih Darwazah: Losing a Legend

Samih Darwazah, the founder of Hikma Pharmaceuticals, died on Friday at the age 85.

Long a towering figure in Jordan’s business community for creating such an important firm, he was also one of the country’s first pharmacists, and served both as a senator and Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources.

An AUB graduate and an honorary doctorate recipient, Darwazah founded Hikma in 1978 and listed it on the London Stock Exchange in 2005, making it one of a handful companies in Jordan that can be truly considered world class. It is one of the companies that contribute to the national economy, while raising Jordan’s name high in the process.

Although it started off modestly with a capital of JD300,000, this year it became the FTSE 100’s fourth pharmaceuticals stock. Each year it continues to penetrate new markets, acquire new subsidiaries, and generate healthy revenue.

Both involved in the company from its early days, Samih’s two sons, Said, who took over the company in 1995, and Mazen, the company’s vice-chairman and MENA CEO, continue their father’s legacy, taking it to new highs.

To document his success and share his long journey, Samih wrote a business memoir called Building a Global Success on the rise of Hikma. We have lost a true entrepreneur who dedicated his life to improve a sector and build a family business that will hopefully continue to succeed, honoring Samih’s name and legacy.

On his father’s influence, Said told JO magazine in early 2005: “He was more of a friend throughout. I was there with him from the start. We traveled the path together and we shared the success. His policies had a major influence on the family. We all subscribe to the same school of hard work and giving back to society.”