Faraz Khalid of Namshi fame appointed CEO of Noon
25 Jul 2017
Noon.com, a marketplace backed by Mohamed Alabbar, a Dubai billionaire and founder of Emaar Malls, and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), appointed Faraz Khalid as chief executive officer.
Khalid, who co-founded online fashion retailer Namshi in 2012, also later served as managing director of Namshi. Judged by the UAE site of Noon.com, which is already live (here), the marketplace will be a copy of Amazon, which invites professional sellers to sell on the platform, and handles all the logistics for them.
Noon.com has been without a CEO since at least May, when Fodhil Benturquia and other employees left the company after it had missed its January launch date.
In May, Emaar Malls acquired a 51-percent stake in Namshi from Rocket Internet for $151 million U.S.. It was the latest in a string of moves to jump-start Noon, after missing its launch date. At the time, the launch date was pushed back to “later this year”.
Faraz is responsible for improving Noon’s infrastructure, particularly in Saudi Arabia, building its tech platform, and establishing partnerships.
Last March, Amazon bought Middle Eastern online retailer Souq.com in a deal described by adviser Goldman Sachs as “the biggest-ever technology transaction in the Arab world”. Alabbar made an unsuccessful bid for Souq.com through Emaar Malls. Increasingly focusing on technology investments and e-commerce, he bought a stake in regional logistics firm Aramex last year.
“The Noon marketplace presents the opportunity to create a dynamic e-commerce platform for, by and in the region,” Faraz said in a news release.
“With our local market knowledge and presence, and our focus on product authenticity, supplier value creation, superior logistics, professional service and competitive pricing, we aim to bring a transformational e-commerce experience to the Middle East,” he said.