x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 December 2017

Noon.com chief technology officer steps down

“I just didn’t know how deep the problems ran,” said Omar Kassim, who joined the company when it acquired JadoPado at the beginning of May.

Mohamed Alabbar, one of the major backers of Noon.com, led a fund that acquired Omar Kassim's JadoPado three weeks ago for integration into the upcoming e-commerce site. He says Noon.com is "on track to launch this year". Christopher Pike / The National
Mohamed Alabbar, one of the major backers of Noon.com, led a fund that acquired Omar Kassim's JadoPado three weeks ago for integration into the upcoming e-commerce site. He says Noon.com is "on track to launch this year". Christopher Pike / The National

Omar Kassim, the founder of JadoPado, has left his senior role at Noon.com only weeks after it acquired the online marketplace.

Mr Kassim said yesterday that he has stepped down as chief technology officer at Noon, the e-commerce company backed by Emaar Properties chairman Mohamed Alabbar and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. Mr Kassim joined Noon after JadoPado was acquired by it at the start of this month.

“I just didn’t know how deep the problems ran,” said Mr Kassim, referring to the deferred launch of Noon, which was first announced by Mr Alabbar in November as a US$1 billion joint venture with the Saudi government and a string of private investors. It was originally slated to launch in January with 20 million products on its platform.

However, Noon’s start has been pushed back.

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Alabbar’s other investments: Read about the prominent investor’s tie-up with an online luxury platform here, and watch the video here.

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Last week, Mr Alabbar was quoted in a statement as saying that Noon.com was “on track to launch this year” with its head office in Riyadh.

The National has learned that it has already laid off hundreds of staff including its chief executive, and is burning cash fast and needs to start trading as soon as possible.

The acquisition of JadoPado three weeks ago by a fund led by Mr Alabbar had been seen as a key milestone for Noon’s ambitions, which had seemingly taken a knock when Amazon acquired Souq.com in March. Amazon has about 40 million products for sale on its platform.

However, Mr Alabbar told The National this month that the Souq-Amazon deal did not affect Noon’s plans.

On May 1, Mr Kassim had written on the JadoPado website: “Our grand experiment is at an end after 2,420 days. We’re incredibly happy to announce” that it had been acquired by a large regional business.

Mr Kassim said yesterday he would like to thank the team at JadoPado, who remain with Noon, and wished them all the best of luck in the future.

ascott@thenational.ae

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