Mo Gawdat is the former Chief Business Officer for Google[x], a best selling author, and serial entrepreneur.
A remarkable thinker with a background as an Engineer, paired with an MBA from Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands, Mo has an impressive combined career of 27 years, starting at IBM Egypt as a Systems Engineer before moving to a sales role in the government sector
Venturing in to the UAE, Mo joined NCR Abu Dhabi to cover the non-finance sector. He then became acquainted with the consumer goods industry as Regional Manager of BAT. At Microsoft he assumed various roles over a span of seven and a half years, in his last role at Microsoft he headed the Communications Sector across Emerging Markets worldwide.
Mo joined Google in 2007 to kick-start its business in Emerging Markets. He is fascinated by the role that technology plays in empowering people in emerging communities and has dedicated years of his career towards that passion. Over a period of 6 years, Mo started almost half of Google’s operations worldwide.
In 2013, he moved to Google’s infamous innovation arm, Google [X] where he led the business strategy, planning, sales, business development and partnerships. [X] does not attempt to achieve incremental improvements in the way the world works, but instead, it tries to develop new technologies that will reinvent the way things are and deliver a radical, ten fold—10X—improvement.
This philosophy leads to seemingly SciFi ideas such as: Project Loon, which aims to use high-altitude balloons to provide affordable internet access to the 5 billion people on every square inch of our planet, Project Makani, aiming to revolutionise wind energy generation using autonomous carbon fibre kites as well as self-driving cars, Google Life Sciences, and many more.
The business team, under Mo’s leadership, has designed innovative business models analogous to the disruptive technologies [X] creates, and has created deep partnerships and global deals that enabled [X] to thrive and build products fit for the real world.
Alongside his Google career, Mo remained a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded more than 20 businesses in fields such as health and fitness, food and beverage and real estate. He served as a board member in several technology, health and fitness and consumer goods companies as well as several government technology and innovation boards in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. He mentors tens of start-ups at any point in time.
However, despite his high-powered and rewarding job at Google, a wife and two children he adored, fast cars and considerable wealth, Mo Gawdat was unhappy. In fact, he was clinically depressed. As an engineer, he set out to fix the problem by examining provable facts and applying logic. He read extensively about the subject, finding out what worked, and developing an algorithm to ensure the happiness — or at least the avoidance of unnecessary suffering — of himself and others.
Sadly, Mo’s theory was put to the ultimate test when, in 2014, his 21-year-old son Ali, a supremely happy and enlightened young man who brought warmth to everyone he met, died suddenly during a (botched) routine surgical operation for appendectomy.
Mo turned to the ‘happiness equation’ they had developed together, to try to come to terms with his tragic loss and regain his happiness, despite the tragedy that life had sent his way.
As a legacy to his son he wrote his findings in his book, Solve for Happy, published in 2017 and since translated into 28 languages, it reveals his scientific and engineering approach to happiness and is the first step in Mo’s personal mission to make one billion people happy.
Mo left Google X in February 2018 to dedicate the rest of his life to #onebillionhappy.
He speaks Arabic, English, German as well as some Turkish and Russian.