Media companies and top executives drop out of Saudi event over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi

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Robert Bakish, chief executive officer of Viacom International Media Networks, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. The event, which generates several hundred million euros in revenue for the city of Barcelona each year, also means the world for a week turns its attention back to Europe for the latest in technology, despite a lagging ecosystem. 

Pau Barrena | Bloomberg | Getty Photos

Robert Bakish, chief govt officer of Viacom Worldwide Media Networks, speaks throughout a Bloomberg Tv interview on the Cell World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on Tuesday, March three, 2015. The occasion, which generates a number of hundred million euros in income for the town of Barcelona annually, additionally means the world for every week turns its consideration again to Europe for the most recent in know-how, regardless of a lagging ecosystem. 

Viacom CEO Bob Bakish, who was slated to talk on the convention, has determined to not attend the occasion, firm spokesman Justin Dini mentioned.

Different media corporations slated to seem on the convention embody CNN and Bloomberg, in accordance with the occasion’s web site.

The disappearance of Khashoggi, a U.S. resident who wrote columns for the Washington Put up, has forged a shadow over the three-day convention generally known as “Davos within the desert,” which is scheduled to start on Oct. 23. The Put up is owned by Amazon.com founder and Chief Government Jeff Bezos.

The occasion attracted a number of the world’s enterprise elite together with Wall Road’s high bosses and executives from multinational media, tech and monetary providers corporations.

Turkish officers have mentioned Khashoggi was murdered contained in the consulate the place he went to get paperwork for his deliberate marriage. Riyadh has mentioned the claims are baseless.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is scheduled to talk, as is Mastercard Inc CEO Ajay Banga. Representatives for each corporations didn’t reply to requests for remark.

One other billionaire, Steve Case, one of many founders of AOL, additionally determined to distance himself from Saudi Arabia, saying he would now not attend the occasion.

“In gentle of latest occasions, I’ve determined to place my plans on maintain, pending additional info relating to Jamal Khashoggi.” Case tweeted.

Khashoggi’s disappearance has led officers and enterprise leaders to drop out of one other one among Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s massive tasks.

On Wednesday, former U.S. Vitality Secretary Ernest Moniz mentioned that he had suspended his position on the board of Saudi Arabia’s deliberate mega enterprise zone NEOM till extra is understood about what occurred.

Moniz was named on Tuesday as one among 18 individuals advising the $500 billion NEOM mission. The Crown Prince mentioned final week that the NEOM enterprise zone would construct two to 3 cities annually beginning in 2020 and be accomplished by 2025.

The Harbour Group, a Washington agency that has been advising Saudi Arabia since April 2017, ended its $80,000 a month on Thursday. “We have now terminated the connection,” managing director Richard Mintz mentioned.

British billionaire Richard Branson mentioned on Thursday that his Virgin Group would droop its discussions with Saudi Arabia’s Public Funding Fund over a deliberate $1 billion funding within the group’s area ventures, in gentle of occasions involving Khashoggi.

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