Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 14 November 2019

PIF-backed Saudi Arabian defence firm appoints top management team

Sami’s executive management team consists of 13 experts in the fields of military industries

Saudi Arabia has broader plans to develop its local manufacturing industry as it seeks to diversify its economy away from oil revenues. Getty
Saudi Arabia has broader plans to develop its local manufacturing industry as it seeks to diversify its economy away from oil revenues. Getty

State-owned Saudi Arabian Military Industries (Sami) appointed top management roles to 13 industry experts amid the kingdom's push to localise military spending and export its defence products.

Mater Al-Anazi was appointed chief financial officer, following his previous roles as chief financial officer for Saudi Arabia at Acwa Power International and senior financial and accounting posts with organisations such as Sagia, Ma’aden, and Sabic, according to a statement from Sami on Wednesday.

Walid Abukhaled, who had a three-decade career in military industries, is appointed as chief strategy officer, following his role as chief executive for Middle East at Northrop Grumman and various roles at General Electric (GE) and BAE Systems.

"The team will work within Sami’s integrated industrial enterprise to develop and support the military industries in the Kingdom and play a key role in increasing the domestic share of military equipment expenditure to 50% by 2030,” Andreas Schwer, chief executive of Sami, said.

Saudi Arabia has broader plans to develop its local manufacturing industry as it seeks to diversify its economy away from oil revenues. Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, created Sami in 2017. As part of the country's Vision 2030 plan for economic diversification, Sami's mandate is to localise more than half of the kingdom’s total military spending, up from about 2 per cent.

Other appointments within Sami include José Esteban García Vilasánchez, the general director of naval systems, who joins Sami from Spain's Navantia, where he most recently served as chairman and chief executive as part of his 28-year tenure with the company.

Bruno Delile, Sami's executive vice president of aeronautics, has served many years as an executive manager in various companies including Air France-KLM and Zodiac Aerospace.

The executive management team also features Mohammad Alkahtani, Sami's chief technology officer among others.

Updated: September 4, 2019 06:12 PM

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