Born in Beirut in 1958, Brikho is Lebanese by birth but his family later moved to Sweden where he holds citizenship. Brikho holds a Master of Science degree in Thermal Technology from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. He is also a graduate of the Young Managers Programme at INSEAD and the Senior Executive Programme at Stanford University.
Brikho held various senior management positions at Asea and ABB Power Generation between 1983 and 2000, ultimately becoming a Senior Vice President & Global Managing Director, Steam Turbines & Generators, ABB Kraftwerke AG in Germany. In 2000 he moved to Alstom where he was Chief International Operations Officer and Senior Vice-President, and CEO of Alstom Kraftwerke in Germany.
In 2003 he became Chief Executive of ABB Lummus Global and in 2005 he became a member of the Group Executive Committee of ABB Ltd, Head of the Power Systems Division at ABB Group.
He went on to be Chief Executive of Amec Foster Wheeler (formerly Amec) in October 2006. During his tenure at Amec Foster Wheeler, Brikho was widely credited with a major turnaround of the company. The company's share price rose from under 400 pence when he assumed the role of CEO in October 2006, to over 1,200 pence in June 2014. At the beginning of his tenure, Brikho also secured the confidence of the board in rejecting a £1.5bn, or 450p a share, cash takeover offer from private equity groups Texas Pacific and First Reserve Corporation. In December 2007, the company was moved from its ranking within the FTSE 250 Index to the FTSE 100 Index, a promotion which was credited to Brikho's streamlining of the business, and a number of major divestments which left £600m of cash in the company, and over £1bn of capital for acquisition. He served until 18 January 2016 and was succeeded by Ian McHoul, the Chief Financial Officer, on interim basis.
On 16 October 2009, Brikho was presented with the Medal of Honour for Industrial Service by South Korean President Myung-bak Lee for his contributions to enhance economic competitiveness in Korea through successful completion of the Incheon Bridge project.
In February 2010, Prime Minister Gordon Brown appointed Brikho as a UK Business Ambassador to support the Government in promoting the UK's excellence internationally. He was again appointed a UK Business Ambassador under David Cameron's coalition government in November 2010.
In July 2013 Mr Brikho was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. In June 2015, Brikho received an honorary doctorate from Cranfield University.
Brikho is a non-executive director of Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken. He was chairman of the Offshore Europe 2011 Conference, the largest upstream oil and gas event outside North America. He is a member of the Advisory Board of Stena AB. Mr Brikho is the co-chair of the UK-UAE CEO Forum and co-chair of the UK-Korea CEO Forum.
He is a founding member of the Palestine International Business Forum, a body formed to promote trade and business relations between Israeli and Palestinian private sectors and the International business community. Samir is also a director of the United Kingdom-Japan 21st Century Group, a member of the advisory board of LIFE Lebanon and a member of the advisory board of the School of Oriental and African Studies. Brikho was chair of the UK Energy Excellence Strategy Board, from May 2008 to May 2010, which was tasked by the UK Government with demonstrating the UK's world-leading position in energy. Brikho was the 2009 Chair of the World Economic Forum's Engineering and Construction Board, has held the role of chair of the World Economic Forum’s Disaster Resource Partnership and is currently co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Infrastructure & Urban Development Industries Committee. Further, Brikho is Chairman and co-founder of the StepChange Foundation.