State-owned Saudi Arabian Military Industries (Sami) appointed Walid Abukhaled as its chief executive on Sunday as it pressed ahead with its plans to localise defence spending.
Mr Abukhaled, who was promoted from his post as an acting chief executive, has nearly 30 years of experience in military industries.
Prior to his role at Sami, he served as the chief executive for the Middle East division of defense giant Northrop Grumman and as the president and chief executive of General Electric in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. He also worked in executive roles at BAE Systems in the UK and Saudi Arabia.
Mr Abukhaled was also the deputy minister of Industrial Affairs at the Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Saudi Arabia has major plans to develop its local manufacturing industry as it seeks to diversify its economy away from oil. The Kingdom's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, created Sami in 2017 in an effort to localise 50 per cent of the kingdom’s total military spending, up from about 2 per cent.
Sami, which was formed as part of the country's Vision 2030 plan for economic diversification, appointed 13 industry experts to its management team in September.
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.