Arabia Online initiates restructuring plan

Published October 6th, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

Arabia Online has announced a restructuring plan designed to streamline the business operation. The strategy implemented was characterized by the company as two-tier, being inward as well as outward focused. 


Arabia Online's chairman and chief executive officer (CEO), Ramzi Zeine, has resigned last week from his post, to be replaced by Mohsan Parvez, following the reconvening of the company’s Board of Directors after the summer break. Al-Sharif, general manager of Arabia Online, has also submitted his resignation following that of his chief. 


The firm seeks to move away from a function-based structure and into a process-based one, meaning that employees will be divided into several groups—consisting of sales, development and content providers.  


“The idea is to improve the communication channels between the frontline sales teams in Dubai and the back-office development and operation teams in Amman,” commented Arabia’s new CEO Parvez.  


The company will also be reevaluating the products and services currently offered. It will aim to place greater emphasis on clients’ changing requirements. “We are moving the company towards a better understanding of our customer requirements and becoming a truly customer focused portal,” stated Parvez. 


A Canadian national, Parvez obtained his Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1980. He is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and Ontario, Canada.  


Operating since 1995, the portal was founded by entrepreneur Khaldoon Tabaza and is backed, among others, by Saudi prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal, the region's richest man. The company offers services targeted at the Arab world and the broader international community interested in the Arab world.  


The Internet centric technology group Arabia Online employs some 65 staff and is based in Dubai Internet City (DIC), United Arab Emirates (UAE). The company also has an office in Amman, Jordan, where its editorial and technical support operations are located.  


Arabia Online recently estimated that it receives 1.5 million visitors a month—a number audited by Accenture. It had raised $20 million in private placement funding last year. Among the investors: Commercial International Investment Company, eVC, Intel Capital, IT Investments, OM Juffali, Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal, SHUAA Capital as well as a number of other new and existing shareholders.  


Prior to founding Arabia Online, Ramzi was Chairman and CEO of Specialized Technical Services (STS), a regional system integrator providing e-business solutions. In 2000, Zeine was named the Middle East e-Entrepreneur at the The Visa/Arabian Awards ceremony. Zeine remains a shareholder in Arabia Online, and also is expected to carry out Business Development tasks for the company.  


He holds a Bachelors of science in mechanical engineering and a Masters of Science in computer science from Manchester Universiy. Zeine’s family represented Pepsi-Cola and General Motors in Jordan for over 35 years.  


Before joining Arabia Online, Osama Al-Sherif was the general manager of Arabian Communications and Publishing, where he was also the publisher of BYTE Middle East magazine, the Arabic edition of BYTE and Al-Jadeed Publisher. He also served as Editor-in-Chief of The Star, Jordan's English language weekly newspaper. Osama holds Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri/Columbia. — (  

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