The Board of Directors of Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) announced the appointment of Engineer Walid Abukhaled as acting CEO to oversee the company’s operations starting from April 23, 2020, until further notice.
Eng. Abukhaled will be taking over from Dr. Andreas Schwer who served as CEO of the company since January 1, 2018.
The decision of the Board of Directors was made after the assessment of SAMI’s achievements since its inception as Dr. Schwer completes his mandate, which included leveraging the international military industries’ learnings and experiences in the transfer of technology and best practices and grow the company to its current position. The move also comes in line with the company’s overarching aim of localizing these experiences with a deeper understanding of the needs of internal and external customers and achieving the Saudization of leadership positions.
The Board of Directors expressed its gratitude and appreciation to Dr. Schwer for his active role in the establishment of the company during the past nearly two and a half years, and for his contributions and expertise that have enabled SAMI to accomplish many remarkable milestones, wishing him every success in his future career.
The decision of the Board of Directors to name SAMI’s Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer, Eng. Walid Abukhaled, as acting CEO, until further notice, comes in recognition of his in-depth knowledge and almost three decades of distinguished career in the military industries.
Eng. Abukhaled gained his extensive experience by serving several prominent positions, including CEO for the Middle East at Northrop Grumman, Deputy Minister of Industrial Affairs at the Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Industry, President and CEO of General Electric in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and Chairman of the Operations Board and Director of Strategic Investments Group at BAE Systems in the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia, among others.
SAMI’s Board of Directors also expressed its confidence and trust in Eng. Abukhaled’s leadership capabilities and wished him success in his new role as Acting CEO, hoping that he will contribute effectively to achieving the company’s goals and help it play an active role in meeting the aspirations of Saudi Arabia.
Launched in May 2017, SAMI is a state-owned military industries company working under the directives outlined in the Saudi Vision 2030. Aiming to be among the top 25 military industries companies in the world by 2030, SAMI is expected to play a key role in localizing 50% of the Kingdom’s total government military spending.
SAMI is combining the latest technologies and the best national talents to develop military products and services at par with international standards across four business divisions, namely Aeronautics, Land Systems, Weapons and Missiles, and Defense Electronics. The company is also focused on increasing exports and bringing foreign investment to the Kingdom’s military industries sector.