Mubadala Capital-backed REEF appoints lead international growth

 Mubadala Capital-backed REEF, the Miami-based technology company that transforms urban spaces into community hubs that bring goods, services and experiences to local neighborhoods, has announced the appointment of Ramez Shehadi as its President of International and Chief Growth Officer.

“As we continue to expand globally and increase our presence across priority markets, we look to build our team with exceptional and diverse leadership who understand the power of proximity as well as the opportunity and challenge that comes with rapid expansion,” said Ari Ojalvo, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder at REEF. “Ramez has a wealth of experience with evolving business models and scaling technological platforms in international markets and we are certain that he will drive our company’s growth in the right direction.”

Shehadi is a transformational leader and a technology strategist. Throughout his career, he has led regional and global businesses, helping them grow rapidly across various industries, while also advising public and private sector institutions on leveraging digital strategies and technology to drive socio-economic development, sectoral digitization and next generation smart services and infrastructure.

“REEF plays a critical role in creating more sustainable connected communities around the world,” said Shehadi. “The company is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for ‘proximity as a service’ in densely populated urban areas by prioritizing convenience and speed while cultivating a community of customers. I am excited to join REEF to lead the global expansion and continue driving the company’s purpose of connecting the world to your block.”

Shehadi was previously Facebook’s Managing Director for Middle East and North Africa(now Meta), where he led the operational and commercial growth of the social media company’s expanding portfolio of apps, services and platforms across the region, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger, and Workplace, among others. In this role, he spearheaded the company’s regional drive to magnify a mobile-first philosophy, while ensuring that the hundreds of millions of people, businesses and groups on the platforms are able to build meaningful social and commercial communities.

Additionally, Shehadi serves on the Board of Directors of a number of public and private organizations including Aramex, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Beirut Museum of Art. He is also a Fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Middle East Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network, and is a Founding Member of The Middle East Diversity & Inclusion Council. 

Adib Mattar, Head of Private Equity at Mubadala Capital, added: “With REEF’s continued success in North America, its business model has now been validated across multiple cities and now with international brands. The logical next step is to capitalize on its global applicability and scale in a region where Mubadala’s network can help open doors and facilitate international growth. Ramez’s experience in scaling businesses driven by technology is perfectly suited to drive this next phase of REEF’s international growth.”

Founded in 2019, REEF has a proximity ecosystem of over 8,000 locations and a team of over 18,000 team members. The company established its presence in the Middle East in August 2021 and recently announced the acquisition of Dubai-based iKcon Innovative Kitchen Concepts. To date, the company has partnered with a number of international brands to bring its cloud kitchens concept to local neighborhoods, including Mr. Beast Burger in Dubai and Another Wing which REEF opened up in partnership with DJ Khaled globally across over 160 locations in 3 continents, at the same time.