For more updates about the The BoF 500 subscribe to the Daily Digest newsletter

For more updates about the The BoF 500 subscribe to the Daily Digest newsletter

{alt missing} Courtesy

Ronaldo Mouchawar

Chief Executive,

The Middle East’s e-commerce pioneer sold his company to Amazon in 2017 for $580 million.


Ronaldo Mouchawar is a pioneer of e-commerce in the Middle East, who grew into the largest e-commerce retailer in the Arab world with 8.4 million products and operations in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, before selling it to technology giant Amazon for $580 million in 2017. He currently serves as chief executive at and vice president at Amazon MENA.

Born in Aleppo, Syria, Mouchawar’s father was a merchant and provided inspiration for the name of his e-commerce site. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and obtained a master’s degree in Digital Communications in 1990. He began his career working in Boston-based engineering firms. He then joined Maktoob, which was later acquired by Yahoo, and launched in 2005 as an online auction site in order to monetise the company.

The business grew quickly as a result of huge demand from a young population with high disposable income, riding on the smartphone boom, and became independent of Maktoob in 2009. A turning point in the company came in 2011, when Mouchawar realised growth lay in a B2C model by providing services and a platform for merchants to reach customers. In February 2016, reached a valuation of $1 billion, becoming the Arab world’s first unicorn. The following year, Amazon acquired the brand for an undisclosed amount, although an SEC filing by the company later revealed a sum of $580 million. Mouchawar remains as the company’s chief executive and also serves as vice president of Amazon MENA.

With big ambitions in e-commerce, is looking to fashion. “People thought fashion is a category you have to touch, feel and wear, but as brands speed up innovation, you start to know your size and you get comfortable shopping online. The speed of how fast brands can go from inception to distribution is so much faster and the whole online platform gives you unlimited choices,” Mouchawar told Arabian Business.

Vital Statistics


Syrian Arab republic

United Arab Emirates
Member since

Similar Profiles

Zhang Yiming

Founder, TikTok

Polina Veksler & Alex Waldman

Co-Founders, Universal Standard

José Neves

Founder & Chief Executive, Farfetch

Michael Preysman

Founder, Everlane

What is The BoF 500?

The people shaping the global fashion industry, curated by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on nominations and on-the-ground intelligence from around the world.

Presented by Snapchat